CLEVELAND, OH (WCMH) – A U.S. Postal employee was sentenced to six months in prison for stealing gift cards that he was assigned to deliver.
Sonte E. Gibbons, 25, of Cleveland, previously pleaded guilty to theft of mail by a postal employee.
Gibbons delivered mail in Eastlake and Willowick Ohio starting in September 2016.
On April 13, 2017, Gibbons had a letter he was supposed to deliver to a location on East 331 Street that contained a $10 Wal-Mart gift card. Gibbons redeemed the gift card three days later while wearing his postal uniform, according to court documents.
Gibbons was arrested after the U.S. Postal Service received complaints about mail not being delivered on his route. Agents mailed 10 items containing a greeting card and cash or a gift card. Seven of the 10 were not delivered.
“As the holidays approach, this case is a good reminder that people should be cautious about sending cash or gift cards in the mail,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “The vast majority of postal employees are dedicated workers, but this case reminds us that there are always Grinches among us.”
“Postal employees are paid to deliver the mail, not steal it. This prison sentence should send a message to all postal employees and the public that special agents with the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General aggressively investigate all allegations of employee mail theft, and will hold those who choose to steal accountable. Gibbons decided to forfeit his pay, benefits, retirement, and freedom for what amounted to a few dollars,” said U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Cleevely.