HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Michael Burdette, 34, of St. Albans, pleaded guilty today to desertion of mail. Burdette admitted that he discarded mail in a dumpster behind a Winfield business on two occasions while employed by the United States Postal Service.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in January 2023, the United States Postal Service hired Burdette as a Rural Carrier Associate. In this position, Burdette was routinely assigned to deliver mail to residents in the Putnam County area. Burdette admitted that he abandoned his route on March 27 and April 1, 2023. Each time, Burdette was running late for a personal matter and discarded all remaining mail assigned to him for delivery in the dumpster to ensure he arrived at his personal obligation on time. Burdette admitted that he knowingly and intentionally deserted more than 200 individually addressed parcels of mail that he was entrusted to deliver.
Burdette is scheduled to be sentenced on January 29, 2024, and faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison, one year of supervised release, and a $100,000 fine.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the United States Postal Service and the U.S. Postal Service-Office of Inspector General (OIG).
United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorneys Alexander A. Redmon and Ryan Blackwell are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:23-cr-153.