CHICAGO — Five former USPS mail carriers are among 11 federally charged in a conspiracy to steal credit cards in the Chicago area.
Law enforcement uncovered the 18-month conspiracy through a federal investigation dubbed Operation Cash on Delivery. The former USPS employees, who at the time worked as mail carriers in the Chicago area, allegedly stole credit cards and other financial instruments from the mail and provided them to others in exchange for cash or other items, according to a federal indictment.
Two defendants allegedly obtained USPS customers’ personal information, including dates of birth and Social Security numbers, which was then used to fraudulently activate the stolen cards and make purchases at various retailers; including Best Buy, Fry’s Electronics, Walmart, and Meijer, the charges allege.
Many of the defendants were arrested Thursday and have begun making initial appearances in federal court in Chicago.
The following individuals are charged with conspiring to steal mail and commit unauthorized access device fraud.
- Rebecca Okunoren, 28, of Chicago – former USPS employee
- Jessica Jefferson, 32, of Broadview – former USPS employee
- Monique Love, 29, of Chicago – former USPS employee
- Myiesha Weaver, 34, of College Park, Georgia – former USPS employee
- Dominque Sykes, 28, of Chicago – former USPS employee
- Davey Hines, 28, of Naperville
- Billye Harris, 26, Harvey
- Terrance Scales, 29, of Chicago
- Stephon Johnson, 33, of Alsip
- Loreal Ross, 31, of Chicago
- Brittnay Shepard, 28, of Chicago
Hines, Harris, Johnson and Ross also face charges of unauthorized access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.
“Postal Inspectors are committed to ensuring the public’s trust in the U.S. mail system,” said USPIS Inspector-in-Charge Hedrick. “The U.S. Postal Service relies on its employees to perform their duties with honor and pride. Postal Inspectors, along with our federal partners, bear the burden of holding responsible those individuals who compromise the security of the U.S. mail at the expense of the public. Furthermore, this investigation aims to restore the integrity of the mail and deliver justice to the victims of those arrested today.”
Authorities and USPS did not disclose which postal locations the defendants worked at.
Over the past year, several Chicago residents have complained of slow or lack of mail delivery.