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Libby woman admits stealing mail while working as a contract carrier

April 10, 2024

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » United States Department of Justice

MISSOULA — A Libby woman accused of stealing items from packages while working as a mail carrier subcontractor admitted to a theft charge today, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

The defendant, Haley Rushel Hickman, 24, pleaded guilty to theft of mail as charged in an indictment. Hickman faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided. Sentencing was set for Aug. 14 before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Hickman was released pending further proceedings.

The government alleged in court documents that Hickman worked as a subcontracted mail carrier for the U.S. Post Office in Troy. In late August 2023, the Troy postmaster received complaints regarding several packages—including items with Veterans Affairs (VA) medication, collectors’ coins and children’s cloths—that were received without their contents. Hickman was responsible for delivering each package. In September 2023, Hickman took a VA medication parcel bearing a fake address and containing a tracking device from the post office. While on her delivery route, Hickman opened the test package and, upon discovering the tracker, resealed the package and threw it out the window of her vehicle. Agents with the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General later searched for the tracking device near a mountain side. They eventually found the device near more than 20 discarded mail items and delivery notes in what appeared to be Hickman’s writing. A special agent reviewed the tracking information for several of the letters and parcels and determined they were all handled or delivered by Hickman.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla E. Painter is prosecuting the case. The U.S. Postal Service, OIG conducted the investigation.

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