HOPEWELL, Va. — A Hopewell man is calling for more transparency after he stumbled upon a federal crime.
Arthur Kreiger found thousands of pieces of tossed mail in a recycling bin in the Cavalier Square Shopping Center in Hopewell.
“I realized that this is mail that has been tossed and not delivered,” Kreiger said about his April 2022 discovery.
A criminal investigation was launched after Kreiger safely returned the dumped mail to the Hopewell post office.
“There were a lot of official pieces of mail in there, along with a lot of gas bills," Kreiger, who was concerned neighbors might not know they owed money, said.
One of those victims was Shavonne Spratley.
Spratley said her gas bill never made it into her mailbox, so it was not paid that month.
“I couldn't believe it," Spratley said. "It's just crazy that someone would do something like that. When their job is to bring you your mail.
CBS 6 learned it was the job of Charles Koiner.
The former Hopewell carrier assistant was convicted of obstruction of mail on October 20, 2022. Court records showed he intentionally dumped the mail, which is a felony.
“The actions of this former employee do not represent the actions and behavior of 650,000 Postal Service employees who work diligently to process and deliver millions of mailpieces [sic] and packages each day, " USPS spokesperson Philip Bogenberger said. "When mail has been mishandled, the Postal Service attempts to recover the mail and deliver it. We followed the standard protocol in this situation.”
“My only complaint would be with the attorney, that once the case was resolved, why not put out a press release, so that people at least could be aware that this happened,” said Kreiger. “The public needs to be aware that things do happen... It does need to be an awareness out there, a transparency, so that people can go, and trust the system to work. I trust when I put my mail in the post office, that it will get through."
The Spratley family is just grateful the right person was in the right place at the right time.
“I want to thank him because we wouldn't have ever known anything about it. I mean, it could have still been in that bin hadn't not been for him, we will never know. So, I will personally like to thank him. Thank you for going above and beyond and doing that,” said Spratley
“[It's] what I would want to have done for me," Kreiger said about his actions. "I have had people look out for me over the years or I wouldn't have gotten so old."
Koiner was sentenced to 12 months probation and two days in jail.