MAT-SU — Following the sentencing of a Meadow Lakes woman for stealing mail and receiving drug shipments, one question still remained: what happened to the thousands of pieces of mail she stole?
“Images were made of all of the mail. Once all of the mail was imaged, the mail was released and sent to its original recipients. This occurred approximately one week after the USPS OIG assumed custody of the mail,” John D. Masters, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General, wrote in an email.
That is to say, the mail was delivered in October 2012, the same month that Brenda Sue Cox was arrested at her home in the Williwaw Way neighborhood.
Cox, 53, was sentenced Feb. 10 to nine years in prison. According to documents filed in federal court, the drug scheme Cox engaged in was to take delivery of car stereos from California. The stereos were packed with heroin, in one case enough heroin to fetch $30,000 if sold by the gram on the streets. Family members wrote letters to the court placing blame for the drug operation on someone Cox was living with at the time of her arrest.
But when Alaska State Troopers searched her house, they found thousands of pieces of undelivered mail there. Cox was a contract mail carrier and had been taking some of the mail on her route home instead of delivering it.
In his email, Masters broke that down:
• Eight express and international mail parcels.
• 22 first-class parcels.
• 22 priority parcels.
• 11 parcel post parcels.
• Four international letters.
• Three certified letters.
• 257 presorted standard letters.
• 1,707 first-class mail letters.
Cox’s attorney pointed out in her defense that none of the mail was found open, meaning that Cox likely stole them out of laziness rather than out of a desire to profit from them.
Masters writes that on Oct. 16, 2012, four days after her arrest, Cox’s contract with the post office was terminated. In addition to her sentence, she was ordered to pay $1,949.31 in restitution to the people and businesses whose mail she stole.
“The USPS OIG considers the receipt of stolen mail by any Postal Service employee to be a very serious issue,” Masters wrote in his email. “When those types of allegations are made, the USPS OIG vigorously investigates those allegations, as we did in this instance.”
Contact Andrew Wellner at 352-2270 or firstname.lastname@example.org.