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Press Release

Postal carrier pleads guilty to selling mail key

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Ohio

CINCINNATI – A former United States Postal Service employee pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to selling a postal key that was then used to steal mail from collection boxes.

Demarco Tapplar, 19, of Cincinnati, admitted to selling a mail arrow key, which is a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

According to court documents, in 2023, individuals in the Cincinnati area sought to steal cash and checks from U.S. Postal Service collection boxes by illegally obtaining the postal keys to the boxes.

On Jan. 23, 2023, police recovered a stolen postal key. The next day, the perpetrators of the mail theft obtained a new postal key by purchasing one from Tapplar. At that time, Tapplar was a postal carrier.

Court documents also detail that in August 2022, 10 altered checks were deposited into Tapplar’s bank accounts and in September 2022, a check stolen from the mail was altered to include Tapplar’s name and cashed. 

Tapplar was indicted in June 2023.

Congress sets the minimum and maximum statutory sentences, and sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the Court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors at a future hearing.

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Lesley C. Allison, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Pittsburgh Division, announced the guilty plea entered on Dec. 4 before Senior U.S. District Judge Susan J. Dlott. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy S. Mangan is representing the United States in this case.

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Updated December 5, 2023