TAMPA — A temporary letter carrier pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to dumping bags of mail along a wooded area in Land O'Lakes.
Andrew Allen Rimes, 22, of 9150 Park Richey Blvd., Port Richey, also admitted removing valuable items, including prescription medications, and hiding some parcels in a shed.
Rimes is in federal custody and faces a maximum of five years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 15.
A McDonald's employee, Rimes worked as a temporary relief carrier for the Postal Service. Prosecutors said while on a route in August 2006, he was scheduled to deliver almost 2,000 pieces of mail but delivered none of it.
According to court records, he rifled through some of it to remove items of value, dumped some in a wooded area along 20 Mile Level Road in Land O'Lakes, then hid the rest in a shed.
Rimes' case is the latest in a string of local letter carriers being prosecuted for tampering with and stealing mail along their routes.
Last month, former Postal Service employee Amanda Turner, 27, was sentenced to three years' probation for stealing gift cards from mail along her route in Spring Hill.
Kevin Graham can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 226-3433.