Former Florida APWU Local President Sentenced to Prison in Theft Case

Another Postal Employee Sentenced for Stealing Undeliverable Bulk Business Mail  

The following is a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida:

January 17, 2008

Pensacola, Florida – Gregory R. Miller, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, and James B. Davis, Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Office of the United States Postal Service (USPS) Office of Inspector General announced today Tony David Grimsley and Bobby Ray Pruett, both former employees of the United States Postal Service, were sentenced today by United States District Judge M. Casey Rodgers following their mail theft convictions. Grimsley was found guilty following a jury trial of theft of 214 “movie coupons” issued to mail customers by Movie Gallery, Inc. In a separate case, Pruett, the former local chapter president of American Postal Workers Union, entered a plea of guilty to mail theft charges in connection with his opening of first class mail parcels and theft of the contents. Evidence in both cases included covert surveillance video, oral and written confessions, and testimony from law enforcement and civilian witnesses.

Grimsley was sentenced to six (6) months of home detention, a $1,000 fine, $800 restitution to Movie Gallery, Inc., and two (2) years of supervised release. Pruett, who was on State of Florida probation for an unrelated crime at the time of the offenses, was sentenced to seven (7) months imprisonment, a $500 fine, two (2) years of supervised release, and a $200 special monetary assessment.

“U.S. Postal Service employees are given a special trust to properly handle mail that comes into their possession, “ said U.S. Attorney Miller. “When even one postal employee violates that trust, it is a cause for concern for all customers of the mail system.”

“Although the vast majority of the Postal Service’s 800,000 employees are honest and trusted public servants, there are a small number who betray that trust. In those instances, criminal prosecution is vigorously pursued,” said Special Agent in Charge Davis. “The Inspector General’s mission is to promote integrity and accountability in America’s postal system.”

Both cases resulted from the investigation of the United States Postal Inspection Service Special Agents David Williams and Guy Nelson. Grimsley was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas P. (Tom) Swaim, and Pruett was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Randall J. (Randy) Hensel.

Related: Former Florida APWU Local President Pleads Guilty to Theft of Mail (January 1, 2008)

On November 2, 2007, a former Sales and Service Associate (SSA), who was APWU president of  the Playground Area Local , pled guilty to 1 count of Theft of Mail by Postal Employee and 1 count of Delay of Destruction of Mail by a Postal Employee. The guilty plea stemmed from a OIG investigation into an allegation that postal management suspected the SSA of rifling mailpieces and parcels destined as Return-to-Sender or endorsed as undeliverable. According to his indictment, he took two cigarette lighters, two Victoria’s Secret free panty cards, a Florida State University neoprene bottle cooler and an Apple iPod.  After waiving his Miranda rights, he signed a 9-page statement which contained incriminating evidence against him. Although he was issued a notice of removal, he is fighting it through the grievance procedure.