Federal prosecutors say a former Maryland postal carrier pleaded guilty to stealing mail after admitting to taking credit cards from the mail.
A news release from the Maryland-based federal prosecutor's office said Daniyelle Barnes, 27, of Randallstown Maryland, pleaded guilty this week to mail theft by a United States Post Office employee. The charge carries up to five years in prison, and she will be sentenced in February.
Court documents say that the investigation began in July 2019 when police officers found 12 credit cards during a traffic stop and that the cards belonged to people along Barnes' route. They launched an investigation into whether Barnes was stealing mail from her route.
Investigators created mail pieces that included credit cards issued by banks to fictitious people and placed them among Barnes' mail to be delivered.
Federal prosecutors said in the statement that “during law enforcement surveillance of Barnes, she was seen handling the ‘bait’ mail pieces, feeling for a potential credit or debit card inside the envelope, and then placing the two identifiable mail pieces inside her letter carrier case.” Investigators say she put the “bait” pieces into her personal vehicle, where they were later found.
Authorities say that she admitted to stealing mail and giving it to another person.
As part of her plea, Barnes agreed to pay restitution of more than $4,000, which authorities say corresponded to losses by financial institutions incurred in relation to cards taken from her route.
A defense attorney didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.