A Chatham County man has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to robbing mailbox keys from a U.S. Postal Service employee.
Andre Rasheed Barnes, 24, of Garden City, Ga., was sentenced to 20 months in prison after pleading guilty to Robbery of Money, Mail, or Other Property of the United States, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood also ordered Barnes to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term.
There is no parole in the federal system.
“The safety and security of our mail carriers is vitally important for the well-being of these employees and the smooth operation of our mail system,” said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. “It’s fortunate the mail carrier in this case was unhurt, and thanks to the work of our law enforcement partners Barnes and his co-defendant are being held accountable.”
As described in court documents and testimony, a carrier was delivering mail to community mailboxes at Chatham City Apartments in Garden City on July 16, 2022, when Barnes approached her and asked her to open a mailbox for him. She asked for his identification, and he then asked how to get a new key and left after she provided the information. Two days later, Barnes approached again with the same questions, and then fought with the carrier as he forcibly took her keys and fled.
Garden City police and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service later identified Barnes and an accomplice, Keyuhn Washington, 24, of Garden City, and found the stolen keys in Washington’s vehicle. After his arrest Washington was held in the Chatham County Detention Center and sentenced to time served after pleading guilty to Theft of Post Office Keys. He is now serving three years of supervised release.
“A large part of the Postal Inspection Service mission is the protection and safety of our postal employees,” said Tommy D. Coke, US Postal Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division. “This is a great example of Postal Inspectors working with our law enforcement partners to pursue criminals involved in violent acts in our local communities and bringing them to justice.”
The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Garden City Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcela C. Mateo.