How feds say police thwarted USPS employee, former college basketball teammate stealing mail | #College. | #Students

Clay, N.Y. — A chance car stop earlier this year unraveled two former college basketball teammates’ attempt to steal mail in Clay, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Kevin R. Williams, 23, of Brooklyn, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to unlawfully use a United States Postal Service key and one count of theft of mail, federal prosecutors said. The charges carry maximum penalties of 10 and five years, respectively. Williams is set to be sentenced in January.

Quayshaun Mitchell, a USPS employee who admitted to giving Williams his official USPS jacket, satchel and a key to collection boxes, also faces charges in the scheme, according a complaint filed in the Northern District of New York.

Mitchell and Williams are former teammates at SUNY Polytechnic Institute and were roommates at the college in 2017, United States Postal Inspector Marc Lebiedzinski alleged in a federal complaint.

On March 6, a New York State trooper spotted a rental car being driven by Williams in the parking lot of the Clay Medical Center on Oswego Road, Lebiedzinski wrote.

The trooper tried to stop Williams, who drove the car over a curb and then the wrong way down Oswego Road, according to prosecutors. Williams crashed the car in a ditch in front of a Verizon and ran into a neighborhood on Balboa Drive, according to Lebiedzinski. Troopers later arrested Williams.

They found an official extra-large sized USPS jacket Williams had been wearing and a USPS key in Williams’ pants pocket after chasing him, Lebiedzinski wrote.

Troopers also found the satchel with 49 pieces of first class mail in the front seat of the car he was driving, according to Lebiedzinski.

A postal inspector later drove to Wegmans on Route 31, where surveillance footage showed Williams taking mail from a collection box at 11:35 p.m. on March 5, about 45 minutes before police began chasing him, the complaint said.

The key troopers found belonged to the Bayberry Post Office, where Mitchell worked, according to Lebiedzinski.

When investigators interviewed David Okoniewski, an employee at the post office, he told investigators that Mitchell had stayed at the post office after his shift on March 5, Lebiedzinski wrote. Okoniewski told investigators he did not do a final count of collection box keys that day and that he recently had to have Mitchell return a key he’d failed to return after his route, according to the complaint.

Mitchell eventually admitted to giving Williams the key, jacket and satchel, Lebiedzinski wrote.

Got a tip, comment or story idea? Contact Chris Libonati via the Signal app for encrypted messaging at 585-290-0718, by phone at the same number, by email or on Twitter.




Source link