BOSTON – A Boston man was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for the armed robbery of a United States Postal Service (USPS) letter carrier in Massachusetts.
Anthony Diaz, 20, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Angel Kelley to four years in prison and three years of supervised release. In April 2023, Diaz pleaded guilty to forcibly assaulting, resisting, opposing, impeding, intimidating and interfering with a United States Postal employee, while they were engaged in the performance of their official duties, and did so by use of a deadly weapon, a firearm; and assaulting a person having lawful charge, custody and control of United States mail, money and other property of the United States, with the intent to rob, steal and purloin that mail, money and other property of the United States, and in doing so put the life of that victim in jeopardy by the use of a firearm.
USPS has seen a rise in the use of Arrow Keys to facilitate the theft of U.S. Mail. An Arrow Key is a specific key designed to open designated blue USPS collection boxes in a specific area. These Arrow Keys are the property of USPS, and it is a federal offense for an unauthorized person to possess one. Since July 2022, there have been at least 12 assaults on USPS letter carriers while in the performance of their official duties in Boston and surrounding cities and towns.
In January 2023, in Peabody, Mass., Diaz approached a USPS letter carrier and stated, “Give me the keys,” while pointing a semi-automatic pistol at the victim. After the victim handed Diaz the USPS vehicle key, Diaz responded, “Give me the rest of the key,” and “Hurry up or I’ll shoot you.” The victim removed his keychain, which was attached to his belt, containing his USPS Arrow Key and asked if he could have his vehicle key back. Diaz did not respond, placed the firearm in his right jacket pocket and departed in a nearby vehicle.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Ketty Larco Ward, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke A. Goldworm of the Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.