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Press Release

Kanawha County Man Pleads Guilty to Theft of Mail from a United States Post Office

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

Defendant stole 16 pieces of mail and White House Christmas ornaments

CHARLESTON, W.Va. –  A Charleston man entered a guilty plea to the felony offense of stealing mail from a Post Office, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Joshua Hanshaw, 37, faces up to 5 years of incarceration and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on August 15, 2019.  He will also be required to pay restitution back to the United States Treasury and any mail theft victims.  Stuart praised the work of the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Charleston Police Department.  

“Theft of mail is a serious offense,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “All too often, there is an uptick in mail theft around holidays.  We will prosecute “Grinches” like Hanshaw no matter what time of year they commit their criminal act.”

On December 27, 2017, Hanshaw went to the Main Charleston Post Office on Lee Street in downtown Charleston, West Virginia after regular business hours.  He was able to lift open a metal security screen that covered a teller window.  Hanshaw then crawled over the counter and through the gap to the area where mail is sorted.  Once there, Hanshaw took a number of pieces of mail.  He also took seven 2017 White House Christmas ornaments that the post-office sells.  Hanshaw left the post-office with the mail and ornaments in a plastic bin.  He riffled the mail and discarded much of it around the post-office and behind a nativity scene at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church.  In total, Hanshaw took 16 pieces of mail, five packages, and seven official 2017 White House Christmas ornaments.

Police had access to security videos where Hanshaw was observed  taking the mail and the ornaments.  He was also observed opening the metal screen and crawling through the opening.  The Charleston Police Department and United States Postal Inspection Service were able to identify Hanshaw and he was arrested.  Hanshaw agreed to speak with investigators after they advised him of his Miranda rights.  He told investigators that he opened the window and went  into the post-office, stealing mail and the Christmas ornaments.

United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin presided over the hearing.   Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes and former Assistant United States Attorney Eric Bacaj handled the prosecution. 


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Updated May 20, 2019