The investigation began after a Syracuse resident complained to the post office in October 2020 that his mail had been opened and was missing a gift card, Perkins wrote in an affidavit. That mail was traced back to the Syracuse Processing and Distribution Center during a time Powell was working.
Others at the center described Powell’s “furtive” behavior while processing mail, Perkins continued. So agents set up a surveillance camera on Dec. 4, 2020 to watch Powell as he worked.
“As reflected on the surveillance footage, Powell took a yellow greeting card from a pile of mail and placed it in the front of his pants,” Perkins wrote. “He also partially tore the flap of another piece of mail in two locations before sending it along for processing. Powell then removed an additional two mail pieces from the sorting line and placed those down the front of his pants…”