Local postal worker faces probation after stealing mail

July 29, 2013

By Peter Clark

NEW — 4:25 p.m. July 29, 2013

An Issaquah postal worker, who pleaded guilty to opening mail and stealing at least $500 and 30-50 gift cards, will not face jail time.

Last fall, 45-year-old Annie Wei was caught with opened mail in her purse after questions about lost gift cards and money along her route led to an investigation.

On July 26, she was sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service and $585 in restitution fines after being charged in U.S. District Court with one federal misdemeanor count of delay or destruction of mail.

According to the report prepared by Anne Stanek in the United Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General, mail was planted in order to catch Wei in the act.

“On Nov. 29, 2012, United States Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General Special Agents conducted an integrity test on Wei and placed a first-class greeting card for her to handle in the performance of her duties,” the report read. “Wei opened the first-class mail piece and removed the contents.”

That led the Renton resident to confess her crimes. The report states that once agents told Wei that the mail had been planted, “Wei further stated she has been stealing cash and gift cards from the mail since approximately June 2012 and estimated she has stolen about $500 or $600 in cash and about 30-50 gift cards from the mail.”

Office of Inspector General Agents then recovered 75 opened greeting cards in her personal vehicle, which Wei admitted to stealing.

She entered a guilty plea April 19.

Wei’s public defense attorney Peter Avenia submitted to the court that she began stealing money for financial reasons.

“In reviewing the defendant’s economic profile, one can see how those pressures could build up over time,” Avenia wrote. “Neither Annie Wei nor her husband earns a large income. She works part time in order to maintain a heavy commitment to her daughter’s athletic career, which requires being regularly available as a driver and chaperone for her daughter’s out-of-state athletic tournaments.”

The prosecution in her trial was indignant about how the defendant stole from the public, counting more than 50 victims affected by the her crimes. However, United States Attorney Jenny Durkan looked at Wei’s lack of criminal background as a reason for a lesser sentence.

“Regarding the history and characteristics of the defendant, the defendant has no criminal history and appears to have been a productive, law abiding member of this community prior to her severe lapse in judgment,” Durkan’s sentencing recommendation reads. “For that reason, the United States has concluded that a term of imprisonment is not necessary.”

Given the number of victims, presiding Judge Brian Tsuchida could have sentenced Wei to a year in prison.

 

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Comments

7 Responses to “Local postal worker faces probation after stealing mail”

  1. Tuesday Memo: Car hits jogger — twice … Ferry fares … Mail theft | The Today File | Seattle Times on July 30th, 2013 6:54 am

    […] is as sad as it is criminal: One of our community partners, The Issaquah Press, writes of a postal worker who faces probation after stealing money and gift cards from mail she was supposed to be delivering. The cash amounts were in the $500 range and there were […]

  2. Captredtop on July 30th, 2013 8:05 am

    I really hope she is now a FORMER postal worker…

  3. Jean on July 30th, 2013 9:50 am

    Stealing from others is just wrong. The excuse of needing to support her daughter’s athletic career is shameful. Wouldn’t we all like more time to help family? But you don’t use that as an excuse to take from others. Many of us have to work full time. Annie Wei got off with a light sentence. The example to her child is disturbing. No excuse for this behavior.

  4. Tammy Kinkade on July 30th, 2013 10:12 am

    Someone was doing this back in 2007, when we lived there. Gift cards and small jewelery went missing in envelopes and very small packages that were sent to me. I complained then to the Issaquah post office and nothing was done. Glad they caught someone now.

  5. D Hud on July 30th, 2013 2:30 pm

    Remember. This is one bad Apple. 99.5% of Postal Workers do their best to make sure you get your mail.

  6. Robert Nason on July 30th, 2013 11:46 pm

    There are more victims here than meet the eye. I have carried the mail out of Issaquah for 27 years. I, like most letter carriers, take the security of the mail very seriously. When one of our own gives in to the temptation to violate the trust placed in us, the public, our customers, take notice. Now when an expected letter does not arrive or a mail piece is damaged in handling the thought is there in the back of their minds; “Did he open my mail? Did he steal my letter?” Each carrier in our office handles thousands of pieces of mail each week. 99.9% get to their destination safely. What happens to that .1% ends up shaping our image. Sad but true.

  7. L Van on July 31st, 2013 8:26 pm

    After 30+yrs in delivery. My thoughts are being spoken. If you dont have a reg carrier, that is sworn in and has a future. The bad will rise too the top. The temptation is too much for a temp to do the right job, to care. This is only the beginning of the downfall of security for the Postal “SERVICE”. Gift cards are nothing, what about the security of the customer. Banking, home life, and just knowing who can receive the mail for the address on the mailed article. I know faces, cars, children, gardeners, housekeepers & family of my customers. I can”t tell “JOE THIEF” where you live. That is not a concern of our new postal service or our Federal Gov. All Americans should be concerned. So sad!

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