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Tampa man identified as postal employee in Social Security check theft

By Times staff

TAMPA — A Tampa man has been identified as the U.S. postal worker accused of stealing more than $2 million in Social Security checks from the mail.

The U.S. Attorney Office said Friday that Stacy Darnell Mitchell, 47, could face up to 15 years in federal prison. He is charged with theft of government property and theft of mail.

Mitchell's partner, Richard Lee Anderson, 37, already admitted to authorities that he was part of the scheme. According to Anderson's plea agreement, he received at least $2.3 million worth of benefit checks from Mitchell between January 2012 and October 2012. Anderson sold them for a percentage of their face value and shared the money with Mitchell, the agreement said.

Mitchell would steal checks worth more than $1,000 while he was working at a St. Petersburg Processing and Distribution Center facility, according to a Pinellas State Attorney's Office release.

Investigators from the Office of the Inspector General, the Postal Service and the Tampa Police Department participated in the investigation.