An ex-postal service supervisor and a Georgia man face federal prison after the weed they stole from outside of a post office was found to have been stolen by an employee.
(WRBL) BRUNSWICK, Ga. — After confessing to taking marijuana from a box, a Georgia man who works for the United States Postal Service faces federal jail time.
Howard Kerns, 53, of Dearing, Georgia, was given a two-month jail term and two years of supervised release. Kerns pled guilty to Theft of Mail Matter by a Postal Employee earlier this year.
Kerns was fired from the United States Postal Service.
In a press release, Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia David H. Estes said that this is a felony offense and that the integrity of the US postal system has been compromised.
“The honesty of postal workers is critical to the integrity of our U.S. Mail,” Estes stated. “Howard Kerns is one of the few employees who fails that test and is being held responsible for it.”
Kerns was working in the Brunswick, Ga., post office when a package containing marijuana was sent sometime in August 2020, according to court filings.
Following procedure, postal employees put the package on a shelf in the postmaster’s office, where it would be examined by a postal inspector from the United States Postal Inspection Service.
The package had been opened and resealed, and the contents had been taken, according to postal management. It was referred to the Office of Inspector General of the United States Postal Service for further investigation.
Kerns acknowledged to taking the marijuana from the box after being interrogated.
In a press release, Southern Area Field Office Acting Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Ulrich praised the honesty of postal workers.
“The great majority of Postal Service workers are trustworthy, diligent people who would never betray the public trust,” Ulrich added. “Any employee who chooses to do differently will be subjected to a thorough investigation by special agents from the USPS Office of Inspector General. This case exemplifies the effective collaboration between the USPS-OIG and the US Attorney’s Office in pursuing and prosecuting workers who are engaged in illegal behavior.”
The Office of Inspector General of the United States Postal Service investigated the case, and U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Bearden prosecuted it on behalf of the United States.