BAR HARBOR—A Hancock man has pled guilty in Maine District Court to theft of mail by a postal employee, Acting U.S. Attorney Donald E. Clark announced this week.
According to a press release from the Department of Justice, Daniel Hindes, 35, worked as a rural carrier associate out of the Bar Harbor Post Office. From November 2019 through March 2020, he opened mail addressed to customers on his route and stole cash and gift cards. He then discarded the opened mail into the garbage rather than delivering the items. When interviewed by federal investigators, he admitted to opening 20 to 30 letters and taking cash and gift cards inside them.
“The defendant then converted the cash and gift cards he had taken for his own personal use, often by making purchases at the Walmart store located in Ellsworth, or by providing the gift cards he had stolen to his spouse for her to shop there for the defendant and his family,” according to the court records.
On March 11, 2020, Hindes confessed to federal law enforcement officers employed by the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Post Office that he had taken the items from the mail he was supposed to deliver to customers on his route. Hindes also later identified himself and his wife in Walmart security camera footage as using those stolen gift cards.
Hindes has been charged with one count of theft of mail by a postal employee and faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.
The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General investigated the case.