USPS Mail Carrier Sentenced for Stealing, Opening Mail

August 21, 2020 Updated: August 21, 2020

A Nevada man was sentenced Wednesday for stealing mail while employed as a contract mail carrier by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro sentenced 34-year-old David Stephen Bangs II, of Henderson, Nevada, to six months in federal prison to be followed by one year of supervised release. Bangs pleaded guilty to one count of mail theft on Feb. 4.

During his time as a contracted USPS mail carrier between April 1, 2018 to Aug. 7, 2019, Bangs was identified as the mail carrier for a neighborhood that complained about missing or opened mail.

After an investigation by the USPS Office of Inspector General, Bangs admitted that he targeted customer mail that he believed contained cash between Feb. 2019 and Aug. 2019. According to court documents, he admitted to stealing mail from at least 67 victims.

“Our office is proud to partner with the U.S. Postal Service to stop mail theft in our Nevada communities—including by holding accountable those who betray the public’s trust,” U.S. Attorney Trutanich said in a statement.

“The American public trusts that U.S. Postal Service employees will obey the law and honor the commitment to their duties. When that duty and trust is violated, the Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG) investigates those matters,” Special Agent in Charge John D. Masters said.

“This sentencing sends a clear message that mail theft is a serious crime, which carries serious consequences. The USPS OIG, along the U.S. Attorney’s Office, remain committed to safeguarding the integrity of the U.S. Mail and ensuring the accountability and integrity of U.S. Postal Service employees.”

Epoch Times Photo
A United States Postal Service (USPS) mailbox stands in the Manhattan, N.Y., on Aug. 5, 2020. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

In a separate incident earlier this year, a West Virginia USPS postal carrier was charged with attempted election fraud after the party affiliations of several mail-in requests for absentee ballots were altered.

Federal prosecutors announced on May 26 that an investigation found 47-year-old Thomas Cooper, who delivered the forms to the Pendleton County clerk in April, altered the party affiliations of five mail-in requests from Democrat to Republican with a black pen, the West Virginia Attorney General’s office said in a statement.

Cooper, of Dry Fork, “fraudulently altered eight absentee ballot requests in Pendleton County,” an affidavit claims.

The party affiliations for another three were unchanged, but the request was altered, the affidavit said.

Cooper, who because of his job had access to the mail-in requests, admitted he tampered with some of the requests, but said it was intended “as a joke.” The USPS mail carrier was in charge of delivering mail in Franklin, Onego, and Riverton—the three towns that the altered requests came from.

Cooper pleaded guilty on July 9 to one count of attempted election fraud and one count of “injury to the mail,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of West Virginia.