Seattle – The suspect in a series of mail vehicle and mail key thefts was indicted today by a federal grand jury for nine federal felonies, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. Johny Mixayboua, 27, was arrested on a criminal complaint last month and is now charged with three counts of theft of government property, unlawful possession of a postal key, mail theft, possession of stolen mail, illegal transactions with a credit or debit card, unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition.
According to records in the case, on December 28, 2022, a U.S. Postal Service vehicle was stolen from the 6300 block of South Bangor Street in Seattle. In the vehicle was a postal key that is used to access the cluster mailbox units in the 98178 zip code. The key allows the postal worker to open the back of the cluster box to deliver mail to multiple households. Since the theft of the vehicle and postal key, there have been numerous reports of cluster boxes in zip code 98178 being opened and mail stolen.
Working with neighbors, the Postal Inspection Service was able to get door camera footage showing the person accessing the postal boxes. Neighbors reported credit cards being stolen and attempts being made to use them. Inspectors were able to review images from when the credit card attempts occurred and ultimately identified Mixayboua as the person stealing the mail and attempting to use the stolen credit cards.
Additionally, local law enforcement determined that vehicles used in a number of the mail theft incidents were reported stolen.
On January 17, 2023, two more Postal Service vehicles were stolen. One in the 3000 block of Beach Drive SW and a second one in the 3600 block of 57th SW. Both are in zip code 98116. Using doorbell camera footage from the block where one of the vehicles was recovered, investigators allegedly saw Mixayboua removing mail and parcels from the stolen postal vehicle and putting them in another vehicle. Again, law enforcement traced credit cards stolen from the mail and obtained surveillance footage that appears to show Mixayboua attempting to make purchases with the credit cards.
On January 30, 2023, a fourth postal vehicle was stolen – this time from the 2000 block of S. Columbian Way in Seattle. On March 28, 2023, a fifth postal vehicle was stolen from the 5700 block of S. 129th Ave. One of the people associated with the theft matches a description of Mixayboua. In late January and February, the mail theft incidents continued — this time in the Snoqualmie, Washington area. The cluster boxes were opened with either a counterfeit or authentic postal key. Again, credit cards were stolen, and one was linked to images of Mixayboua making purchases at Target.
Throughout April, mail thefts continued from as far north as Lake Forest Park and as far south as southeast Seattle.
The postal service halted deliveries in zip code 98118 for about a week while investigators worked to track down and arrest Mixayboua.
Mixaboua apparently was living in a vehicle near a relative’s home. When he was arrested, law enforcement found a firearm that he threw into the bushes while attempting to run away and ammunition in the vehicle, resulting in the last two counts in the indictment. Mixayboua is prohibited from possessing firearms due to multiple felony convictions in King County for auto theft, possession of stolen property, and bail jumping.
Mail theft and possession of stolen mail are punishable by up to five years in prison. Theft of government property and unlawful possession of postal keys are punishable by up to ten years in prison. Illegal transactions on an access device, possession of ammunition, and being a felon in possession of a firearm are punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) worked diligently to get Mixayboua into custody.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elyne Vaught.