Philadelphia Man Sentenced to Nearly 22 Years for Kidnapping and Robbing United States Postal Workers

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that James Chandler, 55, of Philadelphia, PA was sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in prison, and five supervised release by United States District Court Judge R. Barclay Surrick for two counts of robbery of a postal worker and one count of kidnapping.

In September 2021, the defendant pleaded guilty to the charges in connection with two incidents that occurred on January 11 and February 4, 2021, during which Chandler robbed postal workers using a replica handgun, forcing them into their postal trucks and stealing packages from inside. During the incident in February, Chandler also forced the postal worker to drive him for several blocks in her postal truck before he fled on foot.

“Targeting and violently assaulting employees of the United States Postal Service is a serious federal crime,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “Mail carriers provide an essential service to nearly every citizen and business, oftentimes going above and beyond to execute their duties in challenging circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Chandler terrorized two postal workers at gunpoint, and he will now spend decades behind bars for his actions.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Justin Oshana.


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