Sunday, November 18, 2018
News Roundup

St. Petersburg mail carrier found with 2,129 pieces of stolen mail

Federal agents unearthed 2,129 pieces of first-class mail last year in the home and car of a St. Petersburg postal carrier who now admits in court papers that he stole "countless" parcels and envelopes because he needed money.

"I only did it to make ends meet," John M. Doyle Jr., 38, told investigators.

How much did he get? Prosecutors aren't saying. Doyle was charged Monday, and his plea agreement, filed Tuesday, doesn't specify a restitution amount.

If he follows through on his promised guilty plea, an estimate would likely come out at sentencing.

The U.S. Postal Service hired him in 2013 after 14 years of service in the Marine Corps, which included multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. That year, his Facebook page showed him and his wife holding a brand new baby girl.

He earned $15.30 an hour as a city carrier associate and last worked out of the Midtown Station post office, delivering mail to ZIP code 33705, agency spokeswoman Enola C. Rice said.

Doyle was part of what the Postal Service calls its flexible work force. In 15 months of employment, he had a hand in the mail at five other post offices, the court paper said.

Pinellas County lawyer Joseph Saunders, who lives near Eckerd College, said his family was among the victims. He learned of Doyle's name from investigators.

"It's hard to know about mail you don't get — because you don't get it," said Saunders, who is married to Kathy Saunders, a freelance correspondent for the Tampa Bay Times.

Saunders said his wife was teasing her mother about missing a birthday two years ago. But the mother had sent a gift card. That prompted questions. Neighbors were missing things, too.

"We called the Postal Service," he said. "I think they were already onto it. They were very interested and attentive right away.

"They set up a sting. What they did is they mailed us a birthday card with, I think, a Target gift card. And they then got film of the guy in his postal uniform cashing the card."

Investigators for the agency's Office of Inspector General confronted Doyle with theft allegations in August 2014. He resigned that month.

He said he had been stealing mail three or four times a week since December 2013, they reported.

"Much, if not all, of the mail matter stolen by Doyle was selected by him because Doyle believed it contained money, gift cards or other items of monetary value," the plea agreement states.

Doyle could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Under terms of the agreement, he is expected to plead guilty to a single count of theft of mail.

He has no prior criminal record in Florida.

Rather, he has a lengthy military record: from Jan. 21, 1999, to Jan. 12, 2013. He attained the rank of staff sergeant, with military occupational specialties of rifleman, infantry unit leader and recruiter.

His deployments included operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, Determined Response (after the attack on the USS Cole), Iron Magic exercises and humanitarian assistance in East Timor,

But while ribbons and medals marked his military experiences, criminal charges now mar his short-lived postal career.

The popularity of gift cards has tempted others. Nationally, in the past five years, about 3,000 U.S. Postal Service carriers, clerks and truckers have been convicted of charges relating to mail theft. They represent less than 1 percent of the postal workforce.

Rice wanted customers to know most carriers are trustworthy.

"The actions of this employee are not representative of the dedicated men and women who provide excellent service to our customers," she said.

"The Postal Service vigorously investigates reports of missing mail so that we can ensure the sanctity of the mail."

Times staff writer Mary Jane Park and researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Patty Ryan at [email protected] or (813) 226-3382.

Comments
Knights rout Bearcats in ‘War on I-4’ precursor

Knights rout Bearcats in ‘War on I-4’ precursor

UCF clinches the American Athletic Conference's East Division title with Saturday's triumph
Updated: 4 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Let’s get priorities straight on Hillsborough transit

Here are Monday’s letters to the editor
Published: 11/18/18
Jesuit pulls off a rare Tampa Bay repeat in state swimming

Jesuit pulls off a rare Tampa Bay repeat in state swimming

STUART — Jesuit boys swim coach Bill Shaffer spent all week trying to score the Class 2A meet. Based off his numbers, the Tigers were not going to have enough to defend their state team title.But in the preliminaries, things changed. Jesuit swi...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Matt Baker’s takeaways from FSU-Boston College

Matt Baker’s takeaways from FSU-Boston College

The announced attendance (57,274) was the smallest announced crowd at Doak Campbell Stadium since the Virginia Tech game in 1988 (50,901). Crowds are down across the sport, but the empty seats were a bad sign in Year 1 of the Willie Taggart Era.RELAT...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Florida State’s bowl streak still alive after comeback upset of Boston College

Florida State’s bowl streak still alive after comeback upset of Boston College

Deondre Francois found Tamorrion Terry for the 74-yard game winning touchdown pass. Now FSU must beat the Gators next week to make a bowl game.
Updated: 9 hours ago
FSU journal: Ground game gets untracked a bit

FSU journal: Ground game gets untracked a bit

TALLAHASSEE — It took until the 11th game, but Florida State's rushing offense finally started to click the way the Seminoles expected with a talented backfield and a coach with a history of excellent runners.FSU rushed 36 times for 156 yards. ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Louis Domingue gets a workout in Lightning’s 6-5 overtime win

Louis Domingue gets a workout in Lightning’s 6-5 overtime win

PHILADELPHIA — The Lightning asked a lot of Louis Domingue on Saturday, allowing a season-high 45 shots.For most of the game against the Flyers, the goalie stood up to them, but Philadelphia applied pressure in the second half of the third peri...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Lightning’s Adam Erne has first career three-point game against Flyers

Lightning’s Adam Erne has first career three-point game against Flyers

Adam Erne had a goal and two assists to cap a crazy week
Updated: 10 hours ago
No. 13 Florida rides Feleipe Franks’ arm to rout Idaho 63-10

No. 13 Florida rides Feleipe Franks’ arm to rout Idaho 63-10

GAINESVILLE — Feleipe Franks passed for 274 yards and three touchdowns — all in the first half — and No. 15 Florida ran up 600 total yards to rout overmatched Idaho 63-10 on SaturdayFlorida rolled to a 49-0 lead at halftime. Gators ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Temple scores 27 unanswered to beat USF 27-17

Temple scores 27 unanswered to beat USF 27-17

PHILADELPHIA — USF's spiral continues.Despite the Bulls' defense answering the call, the offense and special teams failed to respond as the Owls reeled off 27 unanswered points in the second half, storming back for a 27-17 win Saturday at Linco...
Updated: 12 hours ago