The serious charges 4 Richmond-area US Postal Service workers are facing

Posted at 6:12 PM, Mar 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-04 17:38:46-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- It's another piece of the puzzle troubling people living in Central Virginia who've reported late or even stolen mail.

Four different U.S. Postal Service employees that worked in the Richmond area have now been charged with either obstruction of mail or stealing mail.

According to court records, Dominique Burch Sr. is now charged with obstruction of mail, said to have diverted 18,225 pieces of mail out of the mail stream and stored them in storage lockers in an apartment complex while he was employed with USPS.

The charge was filed by United States Attorney Jessica D. Aber of the Eastern District of Virginia.

The mail is said to have included financial and bank statements, as well as election-related mail.

On Friday, Aber's office shared a press release regarding a different employee who pleaded guilty to mail theft.

According to court documents, former employee Wendy Lawrence stole gift cards, checks and other items of value for her own use. Law enforcement said they collected mail in Lawrence's residence that belonged to more than 180 victims.

Lawrence allegedly used bank account and routing information from stolen checks to make electronic payments for her own bills, and even tried to reroute mail from a victim to her own address.

Lawrence now faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

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After multiple requests from lawmakers like Senator Tim Kaine and Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan, USPS has agreed to give a tour of its Sandston facility later this month.

"From Emporia to Petersburg to Prince George to Charles City, everybody said they were having issues and that helps me to put pressure on the Postal Service," McClellan said in an interview with CBS 6. "We’re about to get the Inspector General's report, we're going to look at it to see what next steps are, but we are definitely pushing to do what we can to solve the problem."

Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan, a Democrat who represents Virginia's 4th District
Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan, a Democrat who represents Virginia's 4th District

CBS 6 is currently working on identifying the defense attorneys of those charged at this time.

A postal inspector confirmed with CBS 6 that in January, there were two different incidents of mail being stolen from a USPS mail truck on the same day in Richmond.

Those two incidents are under investigation.

EDITOR'S NOTE: During her interview with CBS 6, Rep. McClellan said her office had received the Inspector General's report. Her office later followed up with CBS 6 and said they were about to receive the report. The article was updated with the new quote.

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