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Salt Lake City Man Accused of Carjacking a U.S. Postal Service Truck and Causing Multiple Car Accidents is Arrested and Charged

February 15, 2024

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » United States Department of Justice

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City, Utah, returned an indictment today charging a Salt Lake City man with federal crimes after he allegedly carjacked a U.S. Postal Service truck from a postal employee and drove recklessly through Davis County.

According to court documents, Wilber Castellanos Hernandez, 32, a foreign national living in Salt Lake City, Utah stole a U.S. Postal Service mail truck at 594 North Redwood Road in Salt Lake City, on Feb. 5, 2024. According to witnesses, who called Salt Lake City Police Department, a suspicious man, later identified as Hernandez, was checking door handles and breaking into vehicles in the area. Upon officers’ arrival, witnesses and a postal employee told officers Hernandez had stolen his mail truck. When the postal employee saw Hernandez in his truck, and told Hernandez to get out of his vehicle, Hernandez pointed a knife at him and threatened him and other witnesses. One witness attempted to hit Hernandez with a piece of wood, but Hernandez was able to start the mail truck, using the keys that had been left in the vehicle, and flee from the area. The mail truck contained mail including letters and packages.

According to the complaint, the U.S. Postal Inspectors and postal employees tracked the stolen mail truck using GPS technology. Hernandez then drove recklessly through Davis County and was involved in several minor traffic accidents with other vehicles. The mail truck was located and stopped by assisting police officers in Davis County. Hernandez was subsequently taken into custody after refusing to get out of the mail truck. Several items within the mail truck were damaged, discarded or destroyed.

Hernandez is charged with carjacking, mail theft, and theft of government property. His initial court appearance on the indictment is scheduled for Feb. 15, 2024, at 10:45 a.m. in courtroom 8.4 before a U.S. Magistrate Judge at the Orrin G. Hatch United States District Courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City.

U.S. Attorney, Trina A. Higgins, of the District of Utah made the announcement.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and an FBI Task Force Officer with the Salt Lake City Police Department are investigating the case.

Assistant United States Attorney Carlos Esqueda of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah is prosecuting the case.

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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

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