A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Louisiana returned an indictment yesterday charging a U.S. Postal Inspector with mail theft, obstruction of justice, and money laundering.
According to the indictment, Michael Morse, 52, of Madisonville, Louisiana, served as a Postal Inspector in the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. In this role, Morse was responsible for investigating and preventing crime that involved the mail, including mail and package theft. Despite this duty, on Nov. 12, 2020, Morse allegedly stole a Priority Mail Express package from a U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center and removed from the package cash and a global positioning system (GPS) tracking device. Further, Morse allegedly obstructed justice when he knowingly attempted to mislead other law enforcement officers about the package and the GPS device. Morse also allegedly engaged in money laundering when he deposited cash and pre-paid cards constituting proceeds of the mail theft in various cryptocurrency and precious metal accounts.
Morse is charged with one count of mail theft, one count of obstruction of justice, and nine counts of money laundering. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on the mail theft count and 20 years in prison on the obstruction of justice and each of the money laundering counts.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Acting Executive Special Agent in Charge Dimitriana Nikolov of the USPS Office of Inspector General’s (USPS-OIG) Special Inquiries Division made the announcement.
The USPS-OIG is investigating the case.
Trial Attorneys Trevor Wilmot and Jacob Steiner of the Criminal Divion’s Public Integrity Section (PIN) are prosecuting the case, with valuable assistance from former PIN Trial Attorney Jolee Porter.
An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.