MAPLE HEIGHTS, OH – A Maple Heights mail carrier was arrested this morning and charged on a federal criminal complaint in the Northern District of Ohio. U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman and U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Cleevely announced that De’Andrian L. Rice, age 27, of Maple Heights, was charged with delay or destruction of mail or newspapers. Rice is in custody and will have her initial appearance in front of Magistrate Judge Jonathan D. Greenberg this afternoon.
“Americans depend upon the reliability and security of the U.S. mail, especially during this election season,” said U.S Attorney Justin Herdman. “Actions by mail carriers and postal employees that violate this trust will result in federal prosecution.”
“The vast majority of the 630,000 postal employees are hard-working, trustworthy individuals who work around the clock to deliver the nation’s mail,” said U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Cleevely. “However, when one of them chooses to violate that trust, special agents with the USPS OIG will investigate and pursue criminal charges and the employee’s removal. To report postal crimes, contact www.USPSOIG.gov or 888-USPSOIG.”
According to the criminal complaint, the defendant is a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service and has worked in the cities of Cleveland and Bedford. On October 19, 2020, special agents with the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General (USPS OIG) were advised of an off duty arrest of the defendant in the city of Bedford. During a search of the defendant’s vehicle, police located mail not addressed to the defendant in the trunk of the vehicle.
The USPS OIG responded to retrieve and inventory the discovered mail. Located and counted among the recovered mail were: one (1) Ohio Secretary of State, Absentee Ballot Application; eighty-eight (88) pre-sorted standard mail from the City of Cleveland Water Department; (32) Dolly Parton book club books (bound and sealed in cellophane); twenty (20) partisan political advertisements; fifteen (15) pieces of Voter Participation Center mail; fourteen (14) General Election mailers from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections and more, according to the complaint.
In total, 335 pieces of mail were recovered from the defendant’s vehicle. This mail was intended for delivery to addresses in the city of Cleveland and Bedford. The Absentee Ballot Application was returned to the affected customer and the remainder of the mail was returned to the mail stream.
A federal criminal complaint is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case was investigated by special agents with the United States Postal Service — Office of the Inspector General. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan R. Miller.