Theirno S. Bah, 20, of Columbus, was arrested in August 2023 after being charged with co-defendant Cameron D. Newton, 20, of Westerville. As part of Bah’s plea, the parties are recommending a sentence of 20 to 25 years in prison. Newton faces a minimum of 20 years and up to life in prison.
The two men are the latest of at least a dozen defendants charged in the Southern District of Ohio in 2022 and 2023 with crimes related to Postal robberies. For example, in Columbus, in August 2022, Brandon J. Campbell was sentenced to 78 months in prison for two previous armed Postal carrier robberies. Mahad S. Jama, Da’Mon D. May and Cody N. Beasley have been convicted of crimes for an April 2023 armed Postal robbery in Dublin.
According to Bah’s plea agreement, he used firearms and robbed Postal carriers of their U.S. Postal Service keys on four occasions between December 2022 and May 2023. Newton aided and abetted the aggravated robberies of mail and the use of a firearm during the crimes of violence.
Bah, who is also known as “Wopo” and “Wopoonese,” and Newton worked with others to steal service keys, which are then used to steal mail from USPS receptacles (a process known as “fishing”). Individuals then “cook” the mail by washing personal and business checks and other financial instruments to reflect new payees and new payment amounts. The defendants would then recruit third parties to deposit the newly washed checks in their own accounts and split the profit.
The alleged thefts occurred in Central Ohio on:
Bah admitted to using a handgun to rob a Postal carrier in German Village on Dec. 29, 2022. Bah pointed the handgun at the victim’s stomach and demanded his vehicle and service keys. Newton, who was on probation and consequently wearing a GPS ankle monitor at the time, recruited two juveniles to assist with the robbery. Newton also arranged for Bah to use the handgun.
On Jan. 3, Bah pushed a Postal carrier into her mail truck while she was sorting mail in the back of the truck on East Columbus Street. He then pushed a gun into the victim’s side before stealing her keys. At this robbery, Newton provided surveillance from his vehicle nearby, using the cover of making DoorDash deliveries to evade his home confinement.
Later that day, Bah committed another armed Postal robbery, this time in Whitehall. Bah approached the victim and pushed the handgun into her stomach before stealing her personal car keys and the USPS service keys. Newton again provided surveillance in the vicinity. He also worked to arrange buyers for the stolen Postal keys.
On May 11, Bah robbed a Postal worker at the Post Office Retail Store on West Broad Street. Bah approached the victim while she was outside on a break. Bah asked the victim for her keys, and when she asked, “What keys?” he pistol-whipped her in the head with his handgun. Bah forcibly accompanied the victim into the post office to retrieve her service keys. Newton obtained another firearm for Bah to use during this robbery and picked up Bah and others near Goodale Park following the robbery. Newton then paid the robbers several hundred dollars via CashApp.
On May 18, law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at Newton’s residence and discovered $22,000 in cash, hundreds of washed and altered checks, two Postal keys and hundreds of pieces of stolen mail.
Congress sets minimum and maximum statutory sentences. Sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the Court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors at future hearings.
Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; J. William Rivers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; Lesley Allison, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS); Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant; Westerville Police Chief Charles Chandler; and Whitehall Police Chief Mike Crispen announced the guilty pleas entered this afternoon before Chief U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley. Assistant United States Attorney Noah R. Litton is representing the United States in this case.
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