ABINGDON, VA – A former employee of the United States Postal Service pleaded guilty last week in United States District Court in Abingdon to stealing mail containing medication that was intended for United States Veterans, Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar announced.
Ammie Hale, 45, Raysal, West Virginia, pleaded guilty today, without a plea agreement, to all charges in the indictment against her – three counts of theft of mail by an employee of the postal service for stealing mail on February 26, 2020, July 1, 2020, and August 5, 2020; and one count of making false statements. At sentencing, Hale faces a maximum statutory penalty of up to 20 years in prison. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for June 2, 2021, at 2:30 p.m.
According to court documents, from September 2019 through July 2020, the United States Postal Inspection Service- Office of the Inspector General (USPIS-OIG) received over 40 reports from the Salem, Virginia Veterans Affairs Medical Center of medication parcels mailed to veterans in the Tazewell, Virginia area that were never delivered.
Agents of the USPS-OIG reviewed available video footage and observed Hale on two different occasions, while working at the Tazwell Post Office, removing parcels from the sorting area, and taking them to an area of the Post Office where employees keep personal belongings and hiding the parcels in her purse. On August 5, 2020, agents conducted on-site surveillance and caught Hale stealing pills from a package addressed from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Hale was interviewed on August 5 and falsely told investigators that she had never stolen mail prior to that day.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service – Office of the Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer is prosecuting the case for the United States.
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