U.S. Postal Inspection Service Bulletin
Chief Postal Inspector - Washington, DC 20260-2100
October 2003

2 Serving America with Pride: Employees of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Serving in the Reserves and the National Guard 12 The Ostrich Group: An Investment Scam Targets Investors' Nest Eggs 17 Operation Cash Run: Investigative Teamwork Cleans Up Drug Money from the U.S. Mail 24 Post Office Inspectors and Their Hunt for the 1930s Tri-State Gang 27 The Life and Times of Post Office Inspector John P. Clum 30 One Good Intern Deserved an Offer: Postal Inspector Chris Adams Joined Our Team 31 Explorer Post #3972 Gives Young Recruits an Inside Look at Law Enforcement 32 National Bodybuilder and Postal Police Officer Allan Terrell Is at the Top of His Class 33 Ex-Klan Leader David Duke Sentenced to 15 Months for Mail and Tax Fraud 36 From Pakistan to the United States: U.S. Postal Inspectors Untangle a Web of Mail Fraud, Credit Card Fraud, Internet Fraud and Identity Theft 39 Postal Inspectors Put $100 Million Federal Reserve Note--and Its Owner--Out of Commission 41 NARPI Corner 42 Good Works by Good People: Postal Inspector Lori Groen Gives Body and Soul to Help Ailing Youngsters 42 Awards 48 Call for Entries for Calendar Contest

Serving America with Pride
Employees of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Serving in the Reserves and the National Guard The Postal Inspection Service is proud to take this opportunity to honor its employees who, in addition to their full-time commitment to their Inspection Service jobs, chose to enlist with one of the branches of the U.S. military reserves or National Guard. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, an unprecedented number of military reservists were called up to serve active military duty, both here and abroad. There are currently 39 Postal Inspection Service employees who have served, or are still serving, on active duty with the reserves. Following is a montage of the responses received to our request to division offices to hear about co-workers' experiences. Chicago Division Postal Inspector Arthurine Jones Postal Inspector Arthurine Jones is a member of the Security Team at the Chicago Division. She is also a Captain in the 308th Civil Affairs Brigade Unit of the U.S. Army Reserve. Inspector Jones was called to active military duty on February 13, 2003, and reported to the 308th Civil Affairs Brigade. Two days later, she arrived at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In March, Inspector Jones was deployed to Kuwait and stationed at Camp Arifjan. On April 13, Inspector Jones was moved to Camp Virginia. Since then she has been serving in Baghdad, where her unit is working to establish communications, mail service, food relief, and other tasks related to restoring order in Iraq. E-mail messages sent by Inspector Jones, along with photos, bring us a little closer to the war and to this brave woman--and to all of the men and woman serving in the military. June 3, 2003, 9:28 PM All is well with me. I am here in Balad and it is still a bit dangerous. A soldier was killed just yesterday in an ambush here. We are losing soldiers almost daily, and it always saddens me to hear of those who make the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and justice. I am also thankful to them for that sacrifice. I go out almost daily on missions in Balad and other areas to assess the schools, hospitals, food warehouses, power plants, water purification installations, etc. We must continue to provide humanitarian relief to the local populace. Every human being deserves to eat food, drink clean water, get medical attention, and be availed the opportunity to education. I travel throughout the region, including Baghdad and the areas north of the city. I have just a little time but I wanted to share with you some photos. Sorry to send one generic message. The picture shows the family of our translator, Raid Hameed. The other female soldier is SPC Muriel Marshall. She is my driver and a fine young lady; a college student. Take care and may peace be with you all, Captain Arthurine Jones Friday, July 4, 2003, 11:38 PM Thanks for your support and care packages that have helped me endure this deployment. Thanks to you and my family, I have enough to last a few months. It is still dangerous here and the conditions are difficult. I will be okay. Take care and thanks, Arthurine Friday, July 11, 2003, 1:32 AM Great hearing from you. Please pass my "THANK YOUs" to the Atlanta Division. I will be on the lookout for the package. I will certainly get the items to the kids and soldiers, and I'll e-mail pictures of the distribution. I thank everyone for their support and patriotism. It really means a lot. The support is overwhelming from my family and friends, the Chicago Division (especially Janella and Kerry), Headquarters (especially Paulette and Karen), and now the Atlanta Division. We have been getting hit here at the base nightly by mortar rounds. Soldiers have been injured, but no one has been killed. Keep the prayers going. Bless you all, Arthurine Friday, July 11, 2003, 1:46 AM I appreciate all your support, prayers, and well wishes. I know that things are busy at the division, yet you take the time to think of me and send me great care packages. I currently have enough to last me a few months. I also share with my unit members. I'll keep in touch. Things have been a bit scary, especially the last five days. We have been getting hit with mortar rounds at night inside the wire here at the base. I have been going out on missions during the day and I breathe a sigh of relief when we return. We will be staying inside the wire for a few days due to security reasons I cannot discuss. I thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and support. Arthurine p.s. The attached pictures include: the 308th Civil Affairs Brigade Team at the Soda Factory in Balad (page 3), Iraq; schools in Balad that I assessed and was approved to restore through the Operation Anaconda Neighborhood Project; the Canning Company in Balad (I ate an Iraqi lunch there); and getting my hair washed by SPC Marshall (above). Career Development Division Student Inspector William E. Beaty William Beaty arrived at the Career Development Division on January 11, 2003, after being accepted into the Basic Inspector Training program. Just two weeks later, the aspiring Inspector received a notice to report to active duty on January 27, 2003. Mr. Beaty was accepted at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1988 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1992, later earning the rank of Captain. He served in active duty from 1992 until 2001. Among other assignments, Mr. Beaty worked with the airborne cavalry, in ammunition logistics, and on bomb disposal. After nine years of active duty, he began inactive reserve duty in 2001. From January through April 2003, he was assigned to the 3-289 Training Support Battalion at the Fort Polk Army Base in Louisiana. His duties included training soldiers in the use of 50-caliber machine guns and the Mark 19, an automatic grenade launcher for 40mm grenades. In May 2003, Mr. Beaty was transferred to Fort Carson, Colorado, where, for three months, he headed a team responsible for mobilizing a National Guard Unit from Iowa. Mr. Beaty, who is fluent in Russian and Spanish, was released from reserve duty in August 2003 and rejoined Basic Inspector Training, Class 2003-10, in September. Criminal Investigations Service Center, Chicago Operations Technician Valerie Hinton Valerie Hinton works with Inspectors on international mail fraud cases, monitors tips received from the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and assists Postal Inspector-Attorney Terry Finley to ensure goals for disrupting foreign lotteries are met. In the Navy, Valerie Hinton's title is Air Traffic Controller, Second-Class Petty Officer. She completed Leadership Training in March 2003 and served three months at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, where she completed Advanced Radar Air Traffic Control and Carrier Air Traffic Control schools. In January 2003, she was aboard the USS Enterprise supporting battle training of troops and combat readiness. She was voted the number 1 Second-Class Petty Officer in her Command for the fiscal year. In February 2003, she received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. On May 4, 2003, she scored an outstanding on her Physical Readiness Test. Ms. Hinton recently passed the First-Class Petty Officer exam and is awaiting her formal notice of promotion. Denver Division Postal Inspectors June K. Beinhorn of the St. Paul Field Office, Randy L. Griffin of the Salt Lake City Office, and Randy Stokes of Division Headquarters, and Postal Police Officers Larry C. Herrera and Patrick R. Lee Postal Inspector June Beinhorn began active duty on November 1, 2001, in support of Operation Noble Eagle-Enduring Freedom and completed her tour on March 12, 2003. Inspector Beinhorn is a Master Sergeant. She was initially stationed at the 347th Security Forces Squadron at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. Her duties included serving as flight chief, patrol, and security for the base. From October 6, 2002, through March 10, 2003, Master Sergeant Beinhorn was on a temporary duty assignment with the 934th squadron at Minneapolis-St. Paul as a non-commissioned officer in charge, responsible for passes and registration. While on this tour of duty, she received an Air Force Commendation Medal, an Air Force Achievement Medal, and a National Defense Service Medal. Postal Inspector Randy L. Griffin was called to active duty on January 27, 2003, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. As a Major in the U.S. Army, Randy Griffin is assigned to the 91st Training Support Division at Fort Carson, Colorado. Randy is the liaison officer for the 2nd Brigade Commanding Officer. The mission of the 91st Division is to train and support guard and reserve units and prepare them to be deployed in combat. His daily duties include evaluating training, personnel, and equipment for activated units assigned to Fort Carson; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Lewis, Washington; and Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. Inspector Griffin conducts daily telephone briefings with the commanding general in California to advise him of critical mobilization issues. As busy as he is, Inspector Griffin still finds time to maintain his physical fitness program. He is training to participate in a four-person, 56.5-mile adventure called the Dagger Challenge, which is sponsored by the 2nd Brigade. Team members must complete a high-mountain course of up to 14,000 feet, which is expected to take 24 hours. Postal Inspector Randy Stokes was called to active duty, for the second time in less than a year, on March 22, 2003, and returned to the Denver Division in August 2003. He served as a Captain with the Air Force Reserves in the Office of Special Investigations. Inspector Stokes was in Northern Iraq, but was not able to discuss his specific mission or whereabouts. Back in the United States, Inspector Stokes is on the Security-Prevention Team at the Denver Division and is the Threat Management Coordinator, responsible for all related training for the division. Postal Police Officer Larry C. Herrera is a Chief Petty Officer (E-7) with the U.S. Navy at Fallon, Nevada. He was called to service on October 23, 2001, and has since completed his active duty and has returned to the Denver Division. PPO Herrera was assigned to the Military Police Unit and operated as a liaison between active-duty military police and the reserve force. Postal Police Officer Patrick R. Lee is a Captain (O-4) with the U.S. Air Force, Wyoming Air National Guard. He is assigned as an aircraft maintenance officer for C-130 H3 aircraft and is Officer in Charge of the Component Repair Branch. He was called to service on December 14, 2001. From April 1 through June 17, 2003, PPO Lee was deployed to an undisclosed desert location. He has since completed his active duty and has returned to the Denver Division. Detroit Division Postal Inspectors Troy DuMond, Thomas J. Gasser III, and Karl Hansen Postal Inspector Troy DuMond reported via e-mail: "I am a Captain with the Ohio Army National Guard. I'm currently the Headquarters Company Commander for the 416th Engineer Group. We will deploy sometime in September to conduct combat engineer operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan." September 10, 2003, was Inspector DuMond's last day at the Detroit Division. Postal Inspector Karl Hansen is serving as a Lieutenant Junior Grade with the regional Marine Safety Office in Detroit, Michigan. His office is responsible for port security, pollution response, and commercial vessel inspections from the southern end of the Detroit River to Tawas, Michigan, on the Lake Huron shore north of Saginaw Bay. Postal Inspector Thomas J. Gasser III is serving with the operations division of the Coast Guard's regional command in Detroit. He was promoted in August 2003 to Lieutenant Commander. Inspector Gasser supervises search and rescue, law enforcement operations, and other missions from 20 miles east of Cleveland, Ohio, to 20 miles north of Tawas, Michigan. He is also a program manager for the International Tall Ships Festival, which will be in the great lakes from July through August. Thirty tall ships, representing the United States and four other countries, will visit nine ports between Cleveland and Bay City, Michigan. Inspector Gasser is responsible for planning and coordination for each of the ports. Because this year marks Ohio's bicentennial, major festivals are planned in Cleveland and Toledo for the tall ship arrival. The Detroit Division commends Inspectors DuMond, Gasser, and Hansen. Their co-workers miss their contributions to daily work efforts, but are proud of their important roles in the preservation of our national security. Fort Worth Division Postal Inspectors Roland A. Flores, San Antonio Domicile, and John N. Treloggen, Little Rock Domicile Postal Inspector Roland A. Flores was mobilized in November 2001 to serve as Colonel and Deputy Commanding Officer for the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. The 111th Military Intelligence Brigade, located at the Goodfellow Air Force Base at Fort Huachuca, with subordinate units in Texas and Florida, is the largest Military Intelligence Brigade in the world. It comprises approximately 5,000 personnel in five battalions of cadre officers, instructors, and students from all military branches and coalition forces. As Deputy Brigade Commander, Inspector Flores managed all staff functions and was responsible for managing and monitoring the Brigade's $16 million budget and providing training and support. He returned to the Inspection Service from active duty on June 2, 2003. Postal Inspector John Treloggen was called to serve active military duty for one to two years beginning December 18, 2002, and ending in December or January 2004. He is a lieutenant commander with the U.S. Naval Reserve, which he joined in September 1984, but this is the first time he was called to active duty. His most recent reserve assignment was with the Office of Naval Intelligence Reserve Unit in Memphis, Tennessee. He reported to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Headquarters in Tampa, Florida, in December 2002, and expects to remain there. Inspector Treloggen is in the CENTCOM Targets Section, where he develops special projects for the Chief of Intelligence. The Targets Section is responsible for assessing the priority of various targets in a given area and the effectiveness of weapons used against those targets during conflicts. Inspector Treloggen contacted Little Rock team members and reported he has had a good tour of duty so far, but looks forward to being reunited with his family. Of particular note was an opportunity to meet General Tommy Franks and country singer Willie Nelson. Overall, Inspector Treloggen said that working with this cadre of professional, skilled war fighters has been the highlight of his military career. Inspector Treloggen has been using his free time to practice ATA Tae Kwon Do, kayak on Tampa Bay, fish as often as possible, and renew friendships with current and retired Inspection Service cohorts. He sends a sincere "thank you" to Inspection Service family members who have called and sent messages of encouragement and support while he has been away. Houston Division Postal Inspector Ronald Jewell, North Houston Domicile, and Postal Inspector Christopher J. Nugent, New Orleans Field Office Postal Inspector Ron Jewell is serving as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, 2d Battalion, 382 Regiment, Logistical Support. He was last known to be stationed at Fort Hood in Waco, Texas, where he is commander of a regiment and was preparing troops for deployment to Iraq. His duties included providing training and issuing equipment. He does not yet have a confirmed return date from duty. Postal Inspector Chris Nugent is a Captain with the National Guard and was stationed in Uzbekistan. He returned to the United States on August 16, 2003, and will report back to the New Orleans Field Office in September 2003. The following letter and photos were received from Inspector Nugent in June 2003. "I was ordered to report to active duty on January 26, 2003, with the 113th Military Patrol of the National Guard at Fort Benning, Georgia, for a period not to exceed one year. My work area is 91. I sleep behind that partition. I also hold meetings in this area, but I think I will be getting kicked out in a week or so. The guy standing to my left is Sergeant First-Class George Pender. He is my full-time readiness officer, while I'm just a part-timer. He assists with a lot of the administrative work. There is farmland beyond the fence, and mountains a little further out. The fence is the perimeter of the base. My guys patrol the perimeter. The last picture is on the base looking south. You must cross the mountains to get to Afghanistan. There is still snow on the mountains, which are about 50 miles away. Take care and hope to be back at work in September [2003]. I never thought I would miss the place. Chris" Los Angeles Division Postal Inspector Victor A. Figueroa of the San Diego Field Office and Postal Police Officers Walter Morgan, Armand Patino II, and Rolando Munoz-Chicas Postal Inspector Victor A. Figueroa of the External Crimes Team in San Diego was called to active duty on February 2, 2003. He anticipates completing active duty in February 2004. Following is an account of Inspector Figueroa's military service, in his own words. "I was activated by the Army on February 2, 2003, and flew to Fort Eustis, Virginia, three days later for processing. On February 9, I reported to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with my team. I am a Major and work in the Transportation unit as a team chief and traffic manager officer. I operate as a transportation movement officer in a theater-level Deployment Support Brigade. I direct a movement-control team to stage and deploy personnel and equipment and am responsible for worldwide deployment capabilities procedures, communication and liaison duties with installation transportation officers, unit movement officers, seaport of embarkation representatives, and Department of Defense personnel. I provide guidance as needed to other units preparing for deployment. At Fort Bragg, my team helped mobilize elements from the 82nd Airborne Division and various National Guard units. I left Fort Bragg in April for Fort Eustis, Virginia, where I received orders to go to Germany with my team in April. In Germany, I helped mobilize elements from the 1st Armor Division and then received orders to go to Kuwait, where I expect to be for three to six months. The tour is scheduled to end by February 2, 2004, but they are already asking for volunteers to extend service for one more year." The Inspection Service colleagues of Inspector Figueroa, as well as his wife and two children, miss him and pray for his safe and early return. Postal Police Officer Walter Morgan was called to active service as a Petty Officer Second-Class a few days after September 11 to assist with security at the Point Magu, California, Naval Air Station and then at the 32nd Street Naval Base in San Diego. In November 2001, Petty Officer Morgan received orders to report to the naval base in Sasebo, Japan, where he augmented security at the fuel depot and ammunition storage compounds, as well as handling other law enforcement duties. Petty Officer Morgan returned stateside in June 2002. He is now retired from the U.S. Naval Reserves after more than 20 years of service. Postal Police Officer Armand Patino II reported to the Naval Air Facility in El Centro, California, where his primary duties involved patrol, vehicle and property searches, dignitary protection, and explosive-ordinance escorts. Petty Officer Second-Class Patino was also responsible for training new security personnel on the base. Postal Police Officer Rolando Munoz-Chicas of the U.S. Air Force was activated on January 2003 and is assigned as a Staff Sergeant to the security force at Moffett Federal Airfield at Mountain View, California. Staff Sergeant Munoz-Chicas supervises the security of the airfield. He also works with a joint U.S. Army - U.S. Air Force security force on Operation Armored Falcon, and with the National Air and Space Administration's Police Department. New York Division Postal Inspectors Joseph Antonino and David Arias, and Postal Police Officers Romuald Pierre, David Ramos, Edgar B. Solono, and Ismael Aponte Postal Inspector Joseph Antonino is a Captain with the Army National Guard. He was assigned to the 19th Special Forces Unit in Rhode Island and is training for Special Unit Qualification as a Green Beret. Inspector Antonino has completed two phases of the training and is now in phase three. His period of service began January 29, 2003, and concluded August 22, 2003. Postal Inspector David Arias is a First Lieutenant with the Army National Guard. His period of service began March 15, 2003, and is not expected to exceed one year. Postal Police Officer Romuald Pierre is a Sergeant with the U.S. Army. He is serving at Fort Dix as a first-line supervisor in a Military Police Unit. Military police provide perimeter security at military installations, secure POWs, and act as corrections officers at military correctional facilities. His period of service began January 20, 2003, and is not expected to exceed one year. Postal Police Officer David Ramos is a Sergeant with the U.S. Army. He is serving at Fort Dix as a first-line supervisor in a Military Police Unit. His period of service began November 30, 2001, and may conclude February 11, 2004. Postal Police Officer Edgar B. Solono is a Sergeant with the U.S. Army. He is serving as a first-line supervisor in a Military Police Unit. His period of service began January 8, 2003, and may conclude November 5, 2003. Postal Police Officer Ismael Aponte is a Sergeant Major with the U.S. Army. His period of service began July 31, 2002, and concluded in June 2003. PPO Aponte is serving at the U.S. Army's Sergeants Major Academy, an educational institution for senior enlisted members of the armed forces at Fort Bliss, Texas. Note: Postal Police Officer David Ramos is with the 340th MPG, 2nd Platoon, 3rd Squad, Camp Arifjan, in Iraq. Coincidently, Postal Police Officer Edgar Solono is in the same company and assigned to the same tent--it's a small world indeed. Neither one has been apprised of their return date. In June 2003, PPO Ramos reported that his job was: "patrolling MSRs [main supply routes]. Yesterday's temperatures reached 108 degrees by 9:00 a.m. There is still some shooting going on. I was fired at a few times!" On July 24, an e-mail from PPO Ramos indicated he was moving further north into Iraq. He also reported: "There's no running water or electricity. Human waste is disposed of by burning it with diesel and gasoline. I expect to be home before Xmas. Peace and Happiness, David. p.s. Edgar Solono sends his regards." Philadelphia Division Postal Police Officers Shirley M. Minster and DeVuono Hunter, and Postal Inspector Darryl Wallace Postal Police Officer Shirley M. Minster was called to active duty in September 2001. She is serving as a Sergeant Major in the Army Reserve and is assigned to Fort Dix, New Jersey, as the commanding sergeant major. Postal Police Officer DeVuono Hunter was called to active duty on March 29, 2003. He is a reservist in the Navy and served as a Dental Technician assigned to the Naval Medical Corps. PPO Hunter returned from active duty in late August 2003. Postal Inspector Darryl Wallace, with the Security Team in Philadelphia, is on active duty with the Air Force Reserve as a Master Sergeant assigned to Logistics. He in the 88th Unit APS at the McGuire Air Force Base. Inspector Wallace appeared in a PBS documentary. An Inspection Service friend who spoke with him said he sounded good, just a little tired. Inspector Wallace had just returned from a short mission and was preparing to go out again. In August 2003, Inspector Wallace reported that he is on a secret assignment and is unsure when he will return. He has asked for our prayers while he is away. Pittsburgh Division, Cleveland Field Office Postal Inspector Osman "Paul" P. Suboyu Postal Inspector Osman "Paul" P. Suboyu was called to serve active duty as a Major with the U.S. Air Force's Office of Special Investigations at Andrews Air Force base in Maryland. Inspector Suboyu reported: "I'm performing duties related to counterintelligence in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. I am assigned as the War Integration Officer. My return date is no later than April 2004." San Francisco Division The following San Francisco Division employees are serving, or have served, in the military reserve over the past year. Postal Police Officer Bruce Bock, AD2/E5, U.S. Navy Postal Police Officer Loren J. Clayton, U.S. Air Force Reserve Postal Police Officer Johnnie Crouse, Sergeant, U.S. Army Reserve (now returned) Postal Inspector Frank Ducar, who has returned to the San Francisco Division from active duty as a Lieutenant Colonel with the U.S. Army Reserve, e-mailed the messages below to co-workers during his period of service. April 28, 2003, 2:26 PM I just returned from Fort Carson, Colorado, after one month with a National Guard Field Artillery Battalion. The battalion was activated to support the 1st Cavalry Division in Iraq. I led a team that provided training for the Battalion Commander. We lived in the field and were snowed on several times. There were no heaters in the tent, so it got a little frosty. Tomorrow I switch from my regular BDUs (battle dress uniform) to DCU (desert camouflage uniform), as I leave for Saudi Arabia for about a month. I will be working with the 6th Saudi Armor Brigade at King Kahlid Military City. Last I heard, Dennis is at Fort Bliss, Texas, and Brian is at Fort Benning in Georgia, but I do not know their specific duties. As far as when this will end, nothing definite has been set, but I believe we will begin demobilization around July 1. Hope all is well with you. I really am looking forward to returning to work. Frank June 16, 2003, 12:03 PM Dennis and I are back at Camp Parks in the Dublin area. Brian is still at Fort Benning, Georgia, and will probably be there until we demobilize. We have been given a tentative de-mobilization date of September 30. Hope all is well with everyone. Kimberly graduated a couple of weeks ago, and she has a job in Concord. After a year they will help her pay for law school. She decided to take a year off before going back to school. Frank Postal Police Officer Joseph M. Johnston entered the Air Force Reserve in November 1992 after ending his active duty with the Air Force in July 1992. He was assigned to the 349th Security Police Squadron, which later became the 349th Security Force Squadron, at Travis Air Force Base in California. In September 2001, PPO Johnston was called to serve active duty and was assigned to the 60th Security Force Squadron as a Patrolman and Security Force member protecting Air Force assets, such as the C-5 and C-130 troop and cargo transports, KC-10 aircraft refuelers, as well as civilian and military personnel at Travis Air Force Base. He was deployed with the 349th and 60th Security Force Squadrons to serve on Operation Northern Watch in San Vito, Italy, in May and June 2001; on Palmetto Ghost, Puerto Rico, in September and October 2001; and on Operation Enduring Freedom and Homeland Security from September 2001 to March 2003. His many duties included Manager of Disaster Preparedness, Flight On-the-Job Training Manager, and FTO of Security, and he was trained on aircraft interdiction as a Anti-Terrorism Response Force Team Member. PPO Johnston received his Associate of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice with the Air Force and performed as a volunteer for the Vietnam Moving Wall, the Travis Air Show and Exposition, Presidential Security, and on a Veterans Memorial Detail. PPO Johnston was deactivated in March 2003. He retired from the Air Force Reserve as a Technical Sergeant on April 1, 2003, with nearly 21 years of military service. Postal Inspector Larry Laurel is a Senior Master Sergeant with the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He was called to active duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from January 13 through July 15, 2003, and has now returned to the San Francisco Division. Inspector Laurel reported for duty with the Joint Military Postal Activity, Pacific, at the San Francisco International Service Center (ISC). His duties included expediting Army and Air Force Post Office and Fleet Post Office outbound military mail for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine units being deployed to Iraq. During the first three months of 2003, the ISC was overwhelmed with mail. In the last month of his tour, Inspector Laurel processed returning inbound mail from the troops in Iraq to various destinations. According to the Inspector, much of the mail was covered with desert sand. Postal Inspector Brian Markwell is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve, mobilized with the 91st Division at Camp Parks in Dublin, California. He served a six-month detail as a Liaison Officer with the 91st Division and 5th Army, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, at the U.S. Army Reserve's Command Headquarters at Fort McPherson in Atlanta, Georgia. He provided a direct link for communications between the Reserve Command and the command elements of the 5th Army and 91st Division, bypassing formal communication channels to provide timely and unfiltered information for each group. The 5th Army covers everything west of the Mississippi River and is a Lieutenant General (three-star) command. Markwell also coordinated staff activities at all levels as units were being readied for deployment. Inspector Markwell returned in August to the San Francisco Division from active duty. Postal Inspector Beatrice Moore is a Fraud Team Leader at the San Francisco Division. She was called to active duty in February 2003 by the Marine Safety Office (MSO) of the U.S. Coast Guard in San Francisco Bay. Assigned by the U.S. Coast Guard as a Senior Chief Petty Officer and Port Security Specialist, Senior Chief Moore was assigned to safeguard the ports and shipping industry in the San Francisco Bay area from acts of terrorism and maritime crimes. During her more than four months of active duty, she investigated U.S. merchant mariners who submitted fraudulent documents or committed other illegal acts for possible prosecution and revocation of their Coast Guard-held license or merchant mariners' document. She was awarded the U.S. Coast Guard's Achievement Medal for superior performance from February 2003 through June 2003. Senior Chief Moore has been in the Coast Guard for about 22 years. She was previously recalled to active duty for about one month following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In addition to her service at San Francisco Bay for the past 14 years, Moore has been stationed at MSOs in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Honolulu. Inspector Moore has returned from serving active duty. Postal Inspector Dennis W. Morata was called to active service as a Major with the U.S. Army Reserve under Operation Iraqi Freedom. He reported to Fort Lewis, Washington, and Fort Bliss, Texas, to teach military decision-making processes to officer battalion-level staffs preparing to deploy to Iraq. He also assisted in providing skills training for non-commissioned officers. Inspector Morata helped prepare and plan for a "clear sky" mission to train air defense artillery assets in defending national sites against attacks by civilian airplanes. The mission was reassigned when his battalion was re-deployed to the base station in Dublin, California. Inspector Morata also presented training and instruction on civil affairs missions, including post-combat and nation-building operations, for the 91st Division staff. Inspector Morata has returned from serving active duty. Postal Police Officer Norris Perales is serving as a Senior Airman (E-4), utilities systems specialist, with the U.S. Air Force. He was assigned to the 349th Civil Engineer Squadron at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, under the Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force (Prime BEEF) Unit. He installs, inspects, repairs, and manages plumbing, water distribution, waste-water collection systems and components, fire suppression, and backflow prevention systems, all of which must comply with environmental and safety regulations. From February 15 through March 15, 2003, PPO Perales established a base camp for Task Force Jaguar near the city of Dangriga in Belize. Task Force Jaguar was a joint services project led by the U.S. Army to build three classrooms and a community center in Dangriga. The task force offers humanitarian assistance to Belize to foster good relations. The school site was about four miles from the base camp and a two-and-a-half-hour bus ride from Belize. The camp housed all task force members, an average of 310 troops. PPO Perales has returned from serving active duty. Postal Police Officer Daniel Yen is on active duty as a Sergeant with the Alpha Company, 223 MI Battalion, in the National Guard. He attends weekend and annual drills. During weekend drills, he studies linguistics, interpretation, translation, and interrogation. He receives training on various weapons, nuclear-biological-chemical gas masks, first aid, map reading, land navigation, and physical development. For annual drills, he reports to different locations each year. He has been assigned to work in Germany, Panama, and Honduras, as well as Texas, South Carolina, Utah and Oregon. PPO Yen has returned from serving active duty. The Ostrich Group An Investment Scam Targets Investors' Nest Eggs By Postal Inspector Debra A. Rikli, Santa Ana Domicile, and Postal Inspector Mike McCarthy, Los Angeles Division, U.S. Postal Inspection Service In the mid-1990s, health-conscious Americans wanted their meat low in fat and cholesterol. Ostrich, which tasted much like steak but with less fat and calories than beef, turkey or chicken, seemed like an investor's dream opportunity. Unlike cattle, which typically give birth to a single offspring a year, a female ostrich lays 30 to 60 eggs each breeding season, and the birds are far cheaper to feed and care for. As publicity about the birds grew, ostrich burgers appeared in supermarkets, delis, and restaurants. Besides being tasty to eat, its feathers made excellent dusters, and demand was growing for boots, belts, and briefcases made from ostrich leather. Even the enormous eggs were sought after, eyed by collectors as well as egg-art enthusiasts. A single egg went for as much as $100. The ostrich went from being an exotic bird seen only in zoos to a profitable marketing prospect for ranchers. The ostrich craze captured the attention of another, less principled group of opportunists. Led by Patrick L. Antrim and David T. Hudson III, The Ostrich Group hatched an investment scheme guaranteed to bring a profit from the flightless bird. Unfortunately for them, U.S. Postal Inspectors at the Los Angeles Division had a problem with that: TOG's only goal was to feather its own nest with investors' money--sent by victims through the U.S. Mail. Patrick Antrim and David Hudson formed The Ostrich Group in 1995. It was an investment firm specializing in the sale of breeder ostriches and eggs, targeted to capture a share of the booming ostrich market. TOG rented offices in Santa Ana, California, and hired staff to help sell pairs of "breeder ostriches," three-year-old birds with a successful breeding season. Antrim and Hudson knew nothing about ostriches, but they picked up enough to teach the essentials to their staff. People were eager to cash in on a profitable investment that required no effort--except to mail their monthly fees. TOG sold its first pair of breeder ostriches in May 1995 for $31,500. Although guaranteed a minimum of 20 eggs per breeding season, investors were told it was more likely the birds would lay 40 to 60 eggs. If they laid less than 20, TOG promised to make up the difference with eggs from other ostriches. Interested customers received letters detailing an eight-year "projected income schedule" showing the immense profits they could expect to earn--and which would grow substantially each year. According to the letters, by year eight, one pair of birds producing 30 to 60 eggs a season would realize a return of more than $480,000. All investors had to do was mail in their money--The Ostrich Group would handle the rest, including food and board for the birds. It sounded too good to be true. As usual, it was. Following the initial investment for a pair of breeder ostriches, investors had to board their birds--$30 per month per bird--at a ranch owned or contracted by TOG. Some early investors were told their birds were boarded at Vision Exotics Ranch in Lexington, Oklahoma, owned by David Hudson. Others were told their birds were at TOG's Las Plumas Ranch near Reno, Nevada, or Indian Point Ostrich Ranch in Tehachapi, California. The locations appealed to investors, who liked the idea of visiting the ranches and showing off the exotic birds to family and friends. The Ostrich Group generously offered to take care of all of the arrangements for the visits. By late 1995, TOG had sold several hundred thousand dollars worth of their "proven breeder ostriches." Antrim and Hudson expanded the business, moving to two offices on the fourth floor of an elaborate high-rise building called The Atrium, located in one of the wealthiest parts of Orange County, California. Antrim even thought people might confuse his name with that of the building. The men spent thousands outfitting their new offices with fine leather furniture, conference tables, and numerous phone lines. Loretta Antrim, Patrick's mother, joined the team to oversee daily operations. Antrim and Hudson taught their employees how to hook clients. They provided leads and told their staff to invite clients to the luxurious offices of The Atrium, where investors could watch videos of ostrich ranches owned, it was said, by TOG. With high rent payments at stake, The Ostrich Group began an extensive radio, television, and newspaper ad campaign. In November 1996, TOG negotiated a 15-minute spot on KTLA TV 5 News, a major Los Angeles station. Anchored by reporter Gayle Anderson, the video was shot at an ostrich farm in Winchester, California, two hours from Los Angeles, and was broadcast several times the week before Thanksgiving. In the clip, Antrim and Hudson are seen discussing the selling points and marketing value of ostriches--and how to cook ostrich for Thanksgiving dinner. The clip ends with Gayle Anderson riding off on an ostrich and displaying a telephone number to call The Ostrich Group for more information on this up-and-coming opportunity. Antrim and Hudson next spent $50,000 to produce a 30-minute infomercial. This time, a well-dressed Antrim and Hudson are shown walking from the sculptured glass entrance of The Atrium as if they're the owners of the luxurious high-rise. The men are filmed at work in their plush offices, discussing the hours they spent daily monitoring the international ostrich market. Testimonials endorsing The Ostrich Group (later found to be unauthorized) from veterinarians, ranchers, bankers, satisfied ostrich owners, and even the president of The Ostrich Association were spliced into the film. In one scene, Antrim and Hudson are at the airport, strolling alongside a limousine and a Lear jet and discussing their plans to meet investors at the airport, so they could fly them to the ranch to check on the birds. Antrim hired Michael Whitney of The Whitney Group in August 1996 as a consultant for day-to-day operations. Whitney took over the boarding agreements and sent monthly boarding bills to clients, who were told to mail their monthly checks directly to The Whitney Group. He also sold ostrich pairs, telling his clients the birds were boarded at his ranch in Whitney, Texas. Between 1995 and 1997, The Ostrich Group sold 247 ostriches to 83 investors for more than $820,000. Clients were given the name of the ranch where their birds were boarded and signed bills of sale and boarding agreements. A few days later, they received in the mail a Certificate of Ownership identifying the ages, gender, and registration numbers of their birds, which supposedly had microchips implanted for identification. The birds were said to be African Blacks, one of the finest breeds of ostrich. Egg production reports were mailed regularly, advising investors that their birds were healthy and flourishing. There was really only one problem with The Ostrich Group: It had no ostriches. Despite promises to the contrary, TOG salesmen became uncooperative when investors asked to visit their birds. There were many reasons why they couldn't: The ostriches were breeding and couldn't be bothered, the birds were "stressed," or the roads were too muddy and could be accessed only by a four-wheel drive vehicle or helicopter. When people lost patience and threatened to drive themselves to the ranch, TOG announced a group tour would be arranged in a few weeks. But at the last minute, the birds had to be moved to a ranch in Texas--or Oklahoma, or Nebraska, or San Diego. The Ostrich Group's poor recordkeeping raised the next red flag. Investors began seeing inconsistencies in monthly bills. The registration numbers for their birds varied from one month to the next. Some who had bought one pair of birds were billed for three ostriches, or vice versa. In response to growing complaints, the Securities and Exchange Commission began investigating The Ostrich Group in November 1996 for securities fraud. SEC officials filed a cease-and-desist order against TOG to stop selling ostriches as a security. When TOG ignored the order, the SEC mailed questionnaires to investors to gather more facts about the group's activities. When investors called The Atrium to get answers, TOG moved its offices, in the middle of the night, to an undisclosed location. But TOG's troubles had just begun. Postal Inspector Debra Rikli received a call in 1996 from Inspector Pamela Durkee at the Omaha, Nebraska, Domicile. Inspector Durkee was working a fraud case against Patrick Antrim and his mother Loretta, accused of running an advance-fee loan scheme. Durkee was analyzing financial papers from the case when she noticed that victims' checks were deposited to an account for The Ostrich Group. After some preliminary coordination, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service launched a criminal investigation of TOG. Former SEC Attorney Renee Lee and Nina Yamamoto, a CPA with the SEC, provided voluminous files related to their civil case. Lee and Yamamoto worked with Inspectors throughout the investigation, supplying financial analyses and, much later, assistance during the indictment and trial preparation stages in the case against The Ostrich Group. Inspectors contacted TOG's investors and listened to similar stories. They had seen or heard ads about the ostriches and spoken with staff at The Atrium. The high-rent location, plush offices, sales pitch, and purported ranches seemed credible. The projected income schedule with its eight-year return of $480,000 per breeder pair and guaranteed egg minimum were big selling points. Best of all, customers didn't have to do a thing--except buy the ostriches and pay their monthly boarding fees. Investors believed the meat, eggs, feathers, and hides of their birds were marketable and could turn a profit. And they were excited at the prospect of showing off the birds to their children and grandkids, expecting to pass a growing nest egg to the next generation. But investors' problems began after mailing in their checks. TOG stopped returning phone calls. When clients took matters into their own hands and called the ranch to check on their birds, what they heard seemed wildly impossible: The Ostrich Group didn't own the ranches. Worse, there weren't any ostriches. Postal Inspectors and SEC investigators built their case. The Ostrich Group was no more than a facade. Investors' money was spent on promoting the facade, raising more money, and supporting Antrim and Hudson's high-profile lifestyle. Patrick Antrim had a nice home at the beach. Both Antrim and Hudson drove a Mercedes, a BMW, or a Jaguar around town, wining and dining at the best restaurants. True, there was a Whitney Ranch in Whitney, Texas, but TOG's Michael Whitney didn't own it. Whitney collected roughly $30,000 in boarding fees from investors in addition to the money he received from TOG, but he never spent any of it on ostrich food. He bought a Mercedes and a lavish wardrobe. By 1998, Patrick Antrim and his mother Loretta had been indicted in Nebraska for their advance-fee loan scheme. Patrick Antrim was convicted and sentenced to two years in jail, and was ordered to pay restitution to his victims. Loretta received probation and was also ordered to pay restitution. Investors filed a class action lawsuit against the four principals of The Ostrich Group and won. The SEC won their civil case against the group on 11 counts of securities fraud. Each of the four was ordered to pay a fine of $819,000, plus interest. Sadly, neither investors nor the SEC have yet to receive a penny. Patrick Antrim, his mother Loretta, David Hudson III, and Michael Whitney were indicted on March 8, 2000, in the Central District of California on six counts of mail fraud and six counts of money laundering for the fraudulent operation of The Ostrich Group. Patrick and Loretta Antrim pled guilty to the charges. Hudson and Whitney went to trial. Former SEC attorney Lee and Nina Yamamoto worked with Inspector Julie Larson on the financial aspects of the case and to explain TOG's dealings to the jury. Inspector Larson located key witnesses, including the sad case of an investor who became homeless after losing all of his money to TOG. After finding the man, Inspector Larson convinced him to come to California and testify at the trial. Approximately 30 witnesses were on hand in Santa Ana to testify at the trial, which began in January 2003. The witnesses primarily consisted of the victims, ranchers, and sales staff of TOG. The investors ranged from 40 to 80 years of age and included doctors, dentists, and attorneys. Most were senior citizens. Ranchers testified they never had contracts with or boarded birds for The Ostrich Group. The testimony of a TOG salesman was particularly convincing. While he was talking up the scheme with a couple of potential investors, David Hudson III entered the room wearing cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. Hudson announced he had just flown in from one of the ranches, and "the ostriches were looking good." He was excited about what he referred to as a great trio of ostriches, two females and a male, for sale. The couple took the bait and wrote a check. But according to the salesman, Hudson hadn't even left the building that day. After hearing the evidence presented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenneth Julian and Douglas McCormick, the jury convicted Hudson and Whitney. David Hudson III, who suffered a massive stroke, received a reduced sentence of one year of home detention and five years' probation, and was ordered to pay restitution of $822,046. Michael Whitney was scheduled to be sentenced on October 27, 2003. Patrick Antrim was sentenced in May 2003 to five years in prison and three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution of $822,046. His mother Loretta was scheduled for sentencing in December 2003. Postal Inspectors Debra Rikli and Julie Larson were recognized by U.S. Attorney Debra Yang of the Central District of California at the district's annual Victim-Witness ceremony. The two Inspectors were honored for their exemplary work in meeting the needs of the victims and witnesses of The Ostrich Group scheme. Victims' checks arrived in the mail, but TOG never handed over a single ostrich, or ostrich egg, in return. Postal Inspectors proved that Patrick Antrim, his mother Loretta, David Hudson III, and Michael Whitney did not own any ostriches, did not own any ranches, and had no contracts with ranches to board ostriches. The four principals used their clients' money for one thing only: to feather their own nests. A Victim's Story Peggy Monroe was an employee of The Ostrich Group. When Peggy's mother died and left money to her and her brother, William McConico, Peggy mentioned the inheritance to David Hudson III. She thought it was a wonderful investment opportunity for her brother. Hudson flew directly to McConico's home in New Mexico and sold him a pair of "proven breeder ostriches" for $70,000. McConico lost everything he had. The depressed man dropped all contact with his family and eventually ended up homeless eight years later in Denver, Colorado. When Postal Inspectors Julie Larson and Debra Rikli learned about McConico, Larson traveled to Denver and was able to locate him. The Inspector convinced William to come back with her to California and testify at the TOG trial. The jury was moved by McConico's testimony. William told the court that, after repeated promises to visit his birds were broken, he got a bad feeling about TOG. Told that his birds were at the Vision Exotic Ranch in Oklahoma, McConico called the ranch and spoke with owner Frank Hague. He learned that it was Frank Hague who owned the ranch, not David Hudson III. And McConico found out that he didn't have any ostriches at the Vision Exotic Ranch. After the trial, Inspectors Julie Larson and Debra Rikli asked William McConico if he wished to see his family. William decided it was time, and the Inspectors arranged a meeting. After eight years of estrangement, William McConico was reunited with his two sisters and their husbands, and met his nephews and nieces for the first time. The family reunion lasted several days and was filled with laughter, tears, and barbeque ribs. Ostrich egg and ostrich leather boots. Patrick Antrrim, David Hudson III, and reporter Gayle Anderson from KTLA TV 5 at an ostrich farm in Winchester, CA. Gayle Anderson rides an ostrich. The Ostrich Groups's infomercial included testimonials endorsing the group--but Inspectors later found the endorsements were bogus. David T. Hudson III Patrick Antrim, an unidentified male, and David Hudson III are shown walking out of the luxurious high-rise where they rented offices. The Ostrich Group limo and Lear jet--neither of which were owned by TOG. Loretta Joan Antrim Michael S. Whitney Ostrich egg and promotional material from TOG. Postal Inspector Debra Rikli and Postal Inspector Julie Larson were each presented with a Victim-Witness Award from Debra Yang, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, in recognition of their exemplary work aiding victims of The Ostrich Group's fictitious investment scheme. Operation Cash Run Investigative Teamwork Cleans Up Drug Money from the U.S. Mail by Postal Inspector Dennis J. Simpson, St. Louis Division "You, sir, are a menace to society. This court hereby sentences you to life imprisonment." With these words, U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Perry of the Eastern District of Missouri halted a highly organized, national cocaine distribution ring run by Robert Francis. Francis was brought to justice by an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, dubbed Operation Cash Run, that was headed by U.S. Postal Inspectors. Operation Cash Run proved that Robert Francis and his crew transported roughly 20 to 30 kilograms of cocaine a month, and mailed in excess of 240 Express Mail parcels of drug payments from St. Louis to Los Angeles over a two-year span. Where did Robert Francis go wrong? He based his illegal business plan on the U.S. Mail. The St. Louis Connection Prohibited Mail-Narcotics (PMN) Inspector Dennis Simpson pulled two Express Mail packages from the mailstream at the St. Louis Airport Mail Center (AMC) on June 23, 1999. The packages bore the same return address--Gateway Productions in Clayton, Missouri--in identical handwriting. They were mailed from different Post Offices, but on the same day. They were addressed to different companies in Los Angeles, California, but listed the same phone number. To Postal Inspector Simpson, trained to investigate mailings of illegal drugs and drug money, the parcels were suspicious. Inspector Simpson knew the return address belonged to a commercial mail receiving agency. CMRAs are private mail businesses, such as Mail Boxes Etc., often used by people who want an anonymous address they can hide behind. Simpson looked up the phone numbers, but they weren't listed, so he called Los Angeles Postal Inspectors for more information on the receiving end. When L.A. Inspectors told him these addresses were also CMRAs, Simpson and his PMN team members were granted a search warrant and opened the packages. Inside each were three videotapes. In each package one tape was hollowed out. The empty cartridges concealed money: $6,500 in cash in one, $6,790 in the other. PMN Inspectors seized the money. St. Louis Inspectors seized another Express Mail package at the AMC the next day. Like the first two, it was addressed to a CMRA in Los Angeles and had a return address of a CMRA in St. Louis. Inspectors forwarded this one to the PMN Team Leader in Los Angeles, Inspector Tom Dugan. Inspector Dugan opened the package under a search warrant and found the same set-up: three videotapes, one of which was hollowed out and stuffed with $6,000 in cash. He documented the money and resealed the package. Inspectors from his PMN Team performed a controlled delivery of the package to get a glimpse of the recipients. Days later, Inspectors intercepted two more, identical Express Mail packages at the AMC--they were even mailed from the same Post Offices at the same time of day. These were forwarded to Inspector Dugan, as well. Dugan and his team opened the new arrivals under warrant and again found three blank videotapes in each. But these held no money. The pattern was a familiar one: The mailers had sent "test" packages to see if they'd get through, instead of disappearing as before. Inspectors resealed them and returned them to the mailstream. Express Mail records at the St. Louis AMC confirmed Inspectors' suspicions: They had uncovered a major drug mailing network. There was a long list of packages from Gateway Productions in the past year, identical in weight and all addressed to CMRAs in Los Angeles. Team Leader Dugan added Inspector Kim Gordon to the case. New packages arrived daily. Following the test run, Crossroads Studios replaced Gateway Productions as a return address, but this flimsy disguise failed to fool the Inspectors. By now, they could spot the mailer's handwriting immediately. St. Louis Inspectors continued to forward suspect packages to Inspectors in Los Angeles. As agreed, the California team opened the packages under warrant, photographed and documented the contents, and repackaged the illegal mailings before making controlled deliveries to the recipients. There were no seizures and no arrests: Inspectors were biding their time, collecting information. The mailings continued through 1999, with Postal Inspectors executing 26 search warrants on suspect packages. Each contained three videotapes, with one of the three hollowed out to conceal between $6,000 and $8,000 in cash. Inspectors wanted to know who was running this ring. Cameras, Pens, and Pagers Surveillance cameras at the St. Louis Post Office provided Inspectors' first glimpse of one of the mailers. They sent the photo to narcotics officers in St. Louis and Los Angeles, hoping for a hit. They got one. Robert Francis was known to Los Angeles police as a drug dealer, with previous convictions on drug and gun charges. St. Louis Inspectors found him in Maryland Heights, Missouri, renting a room in a large apartment complex. A careful operator, Robert Francis put his lease in a woman's name, bought cars under aliases, and kept his cell phone under the name of girlfriend Janiece Dunning. Inspectors presented their findings to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Because of the high number of mailings and suspects, the U.S. Attorney's Office designated the investigation an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case, naming it Operation Cash Run. Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) John Ware, a veteran with more than 10 years' experience prosecuting organized drug rings, was assigned to the case, along with DEA Special Agent Ken Williams and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department narcotics detectives Tom Lewellyn and Rick Koenemann. Their goal was to get to the source of the drugs. Operation Cash Run wasn't going to stop at a few seized packages and some arrests. They were going to bring down the "big guys." Team members set up a surveillance of Francis. A man had recently moved in with him who called himself "Anthony Woods"--at least that's what he said during a police stop set up as a ruse. The roommates were obviously surveillance conscious, using evasive driving maneuvers to throw off a tail, parking in empty lots before continuing to a destination, doing "double backs" and U-turns on empty streets, driving down dead ends and stopping suddenly, running red lights, and walking through shopping malls for no apparent reason other than to cover their tracks. Francis even confronted two agents he suspected were following him--in one case threatening to "shoot up" their undercover surveillance van. As investigators gathered evidence, they discovered Francis serviced his cars at a local gas station. Station invoices revealed he used an alias of Mark Jirard, with a cell phone and pager as contacts. A clone pager allowed them to track his calls. St. Louis Postal Police Officers kept a log of the time, date, and number of every page Francis received. Inspectors subpoenaed Francis' cell phone records and obtained a pen register on the phone. Detective Tom Lewellyn pored over the records, seeking common calls and researching numbers going to the pager. More numbers led to more pen registers and phone records, and the process was repeated, leading to a growing list of conspirators. The team developed files on those who called or were called by the suspects. St. Louis police provided office space for the Operation Cash Run Task Force. Inspection Service Security Engineering Technician Bob Lamar installed a covert surveillance camera, trained on the door to Francis' apartment. Mostly they'd see Francis arrive with boxes and packaging material. He'd leave with Express Mail packages, headed for the Post Office. Wanted for Murder In October 1999, task force members matched the Missouri driver's license of Anthony Woods--the man who had moved in with Robert--with a California driver's license issued to Anthony Pak Francis. Anthony "Woods" was Robert's brother. Anthony was wanted on a drug-related murder charge dating from October 1998 in Ingelwood, California. It was the same time he'd moved in with Robert. Inspectors wanted to arrest Anthony Francis on the warrant for murder without alerting his brother. A call to the Maryland Heights Police Department solved the problem. The Operation Cash Run Task Force began a concentrated surveillance of the apartment. When Anthony took off the morning of October 8, 1999, in a brand-new, 1999 Lincoln Navigator without plates, Inspectors paged a uniformed Maryland Heights police officer on standby. Officer Mark Stohr waited until Francis was some distance from the apartment. Then he pulled him over on a traffic stop. Francis handed over his "Woods" driver's license. When Officer Stohr informed him he was under arrest for failure to properly register a motor vehicle, things moved quickly. Francis ignored Stohr's orders to keep his hands out of his pockets, so Stohr grabbed him by the arms and pinned him down. A search by the officer revealed that Anthony Francis was carrying a .22-caliber North American Arms derringer in his pants pocket. Francis was taken to the Maryland Heights jail and booked under the name of Anthony Woods. According to plan, Officer Stohr waited a few hours and then told Francis they had run his prints through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). They knew he was Anthony Pak Francis, wanted for murder in California. A Perfect Profile Team members now focused on a woman who appeared regularly at Robert Francis' apartment. She'd drive up in a red jeep and disappear for a short time in the apartment. When she left, she'd leave the jeep and take Robert's Nissan Maxima, returning a few days later to switch cars again. A pen register on the cell phone of Tiffany Barry, aka Sheila Anderson, revealed she called Francis from the Drury Inn in McAllen, Texas. Cell phone logs revealed she was making roundtrips between St. Louis and McAllen, and hotel records indicated she stayed in McAllen for only a few days at a time. Tiffany Barry had made at least three trips to McAllen in the last two months. She was a perfect fit for the profile of a drug courier. Postal Inspectors got a court order in December 1999 to covertly install a tracking device on Francis' Nissan Maxima. They "stole" the car in the middle of the night and drove it to the Maryland Heights Police Department. Sergeant Ed Pfeiffer from the St. Louis Police Department installed the tracker, and Inspectors returned the car, unnoticed, to the apartment lot. The tracker was configured to send an automatic page to Postal Inspector Dennis Simpson if the car left the St. Louis area. On January 21, 2000, Inspector Simpson's pager went off. Barry drove to McAllen, Texas. Inspector Simpson, accompanied by Inspector Jorge Concepcion and special agents from the McAllen office of the Drug Enforcement Agency, watched her every move, but learned nothing of what she was up to. A week later, Barry drove back to St. Louis. The Missouri Highway Patrol had been called in to conduct a "make your own case" stop on the vehicle, as far from St. Louis as possible. As the Maxima crossed the state line from Arkansas, Missouri State Trooper Sergeant Rick Sanders observed a moving traffic violation and stopped the car. Barry granted Sanders consent to search the vehicle. The officer seized 9 kilograms of cocaine he found in an electronically controlled, hidden compartment behind Tiffany Barry's rear seat. The U.S. Attorney's Office and the state prosecutor agreed to charge Barry in state court. State charges would be dismissed when, and if, federal charges followed. The Mechanics of Dealing Immediately after Barry's arrest, Robert Francis moved to a new apartment complex across town. He also changed cell phones. Inspectors recorded the new number by paging him to a trap-and-trace line, and obtained new pen registers. Francis had no close friends and no social life. He flew between St. Louis and Los Angeles regularly. When he went out it was for business, either to mail packages (as many as seven in a day, each from a different Post Office) or fly to California. The Operation Cash Run Task Force drew up an "organization chart" of the drug ring. Robert (and until now, Anthony) Francis bought cocaine from Mexicans in Los Angeles and McAllen and shipped it via couriers--driving specially equipped vehicles with hidden compartments--to St. Louis. They sold the drugs to Garrett Parker and Leo Muhammad in St. Louis, and sent the proceeds through the U.S. Mail to 13 CMRAs in Los Angeles. The Postal Inspection Service's Los Angeles PMN Team reported that another Francis sibling, Jimmy Pak Francis, and a man named Travis Porter picked up the money-filled parcels. Inspection Service Database Information System (ISDBIS) records showed Travis Porter was a suspect in another drug case under investigation at the Washington Division. Inspectors there reported seizing money that had been concealed in videotapes and shipped via Express Mail to Los Angeles. Wire taps were needed to break into the ring's top echelon for evidence of its activities. It was a tight operation, so informants or undercover officers were not an option. The investigation continued into 2000, frustrating the team. They drew up affidavits, only to have Francis change phones. Back at square one, they documented calls from the new numbers to known dealers, and continued with surveillances. A break came in August from DEA agents at Springfield, Illinois. The agents were conducting a wire tap on a local cocaine dealer and discovered he was buying his drugs from Garrett Parker. Task force members had already identified Parker as a likely partner in the Francis ring, so Inspectors were able to "spin-off" the Illinois wire tap and get one on Parker. It took less than 30 days to gather enough probable cause for a Title III wire tap on Francis' cell phone. By December, investigators had barrelled through four Title III wire taps to keep up with Francis' phones. But the task force finally had the upper hand. The wire taps revealed that Anthony and Robert Francis were the ringleaders of the operation, buying cocaine from Freddy Burgueno in Los Angeles. Malarie Macon, Tiffany Barry, and Johnnie Macon were couriers, driving cars with electronically controlled, hidden compartments for the drugs. Each car carried from 8 to 10 kilograms of cocaine, which the Francis brothers bought from Burgueno for $15,000 a kilo. They sold it to Garrett Parker in Illinois and Leo Muhammad in St. Louis for $21,000 a kilo. Any money not sent through the mail was carried back to Los Angeles in a suitcase by Timothy Doyle. Investigators "stole" another car from Robert Francis and installed another GPS tracker in it. Not long after, Kansas State Highway Trooper Kyle Moomau stopped courier Johnny Macon driving the car on a simple traffic violation. The trooper arrested Macon after finding 9 kilograms of cocaine in a hidden compartment behind the rear seat. Still later, task force members seized more cocaine from ring members they had traced to Arizona. Searching and Arresting Armed with wire-tap transcripts, cocaine seizures, and IDs of the major players, task force members were ready to shut down the Francis ring. On December 11, 2000, Postal Inspectors from Los Angeles and St. Louis, DEA agents, and local police investigators simultaneously executed 23 search warrants in Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Alton, Illinois. They issued arrest warrants for the three Francis brothers, Freddy Burgueno, Garrett Parker, Leo Muhammad, Travis Porter, Timothy Doyle, Tiffany Barry, Johnnie Macon, and Malarie Macon. At the home of Robert Francis' parents in Los Angeles, Inspectors seized $30,000 in cash from a safe. At Robert Francis' house they seized a Colt AR-15 with a 90-round magazine. At another one of his homes in St. Louis, they took a 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass with a hidden compartment that held $40,000 in an Express Mail envelope. They later confiscated $30,000 in cash from the St. Louis residence of Leo Muhammad, as well as guns, jewelry, more cash, and more cocaine. Task force members arrested Anthony Francis, out on bail despite his murder charge, in January 2001 at the St. Louis airport. Robert remained a fugitive until March, when U.S. Deputy Marshals Tony Nelson and Tim Hamilton tracked him to a hotel in O'Fallon, Illinois. Robert had a false ID, seven cell phones, and five pagers. In a hidden compartment behind the rear seat of his car was a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun and $24,000 in cash. The Less-Than-Legal Lawyer The suspects ranged from low-level couriers to the major importers of the cocaine. Eight pled guilty, while couriers Timothy Doyle, Tiffany Barry, Malarie Macon, and Johnny Macon agreed to testify for the government. The remaining suspects, Robert Francis, Anthony Francis, Jimmy Francis, Leo Muhammad, Wil Ellis (a mid-level dealer), Tommy Macon (a courier), and Germaine Davis (a facilitator) went to trial. Robert Francis retained Los Angeles attorney David Dudley, a Harvard-educated criminal defense lawyer specializing in drug cases. Dudley bragged to AUSA John Ware and Inspector Simpson about some of his clients, including Hollywood movie stars, rap singers, and members of a Colombian drug cartel. The trial was set for February 11, 2002. On February 1, AUSA Ware and Inspector Simpson interviewed Malarie Macon, a drug courier and major witness for the government. Macon surprised them by first asking if David Dudley was an attorney on the case. Then she launched into a story of sex and cocaine. Macon claimed she'd had a sex-for-money relationship with Dudley since 1995, when he was in St. Louis. Dudley would page her to to his hotel room for sex and pay her $300 for the night. She saw him snort cocaine at least twice. Their last hook-up was on Superbowl Sunday in January 2002, when Dudley paid her $500 and bragged about a major drug trial he was handling. Macon thought then he was involved in the Francis case. AUSA John Ware informed Dudley of Mason's allegations. The attorney denied all of it, causing Inspector Simpson and DEA Special Agent Ken Williams to initiate an investigation a week before trial. They verified much of Macon's story. At a hearing in February before Honorable Judge Catherine Perry, Dareyl Oliver (Malarie Macon's pimp), a cab driver, a waitress, hotel video surveillance tapes, hotel receipts, and answering-machine tapes of Dudley's incriminating calls were presented. Dudley took the stand in his own defense, admitting he had sex with Macon, but claiming he didn't pay for it. He denied using cocaine. Judge Perry deliberated for one day, and then declared that Dudley had lied to her about paying for sex with Macon, and had probably lied about using cocaine. She kicked Dudley off the case and out of her courtroom. The Evidence Was in the Mail The trial was reset for May 1. There were seven defendants, seven lawyers, and three AUSAs--Tom Albus and Tiffany Becker were assigned to assist John Ware. The government had more than 300 trial exhibits and more than 70 witnesses, 35 of whom were from out of town. The government introduced as evidence 240 Express Mail labels, 33 Post Office surveillance photos showing Robert Francis mailing packages, covert surveillance photos of Robert Francis meeting with his couriers, and photos of Jimmy Francis and Travis Porter picking up mailed packages. It also presented more than 50 wire-tap calls, more than 40 kilograms of seized cocaine, and eight seized guns. The defense offered no exhibits and no witnesses. The case went to the jury on May 21. Problems arose almost immediately. The jurors submitted a note to the judge. They wanted to know how to deal with a juror who claimed her faith prevented her from sending people to prison. A second note claimed the jurors were unable to get along. As days went by, tensions increased. Screams were heard from the jury room. They were sent back several times to resume deliberations. It became evident that a single juror was the source of the problem. Nonetheless, on May 24, the jury convicted Robert Francis and Leo Muhammad. They acquitted Jimmy Francis, Wil Ellis, and Tommy Macon, and announced a hung verdict on Germaine Davis and Anthony Francis. The jury was instructed to return on May 28, after the Memorial Day holiday, to resume deliberations. That weekend, Special Agent Ken Williams, court security officers, and another juror reported seeing juror number 2 meeting with Jimmy Francis and Germaine Davis near the courthouse. The juror hugged and kissed the defendants, carried on an animated conversation, and walked off with them. On May 28, a hearing was held on the actions of juror number 2. The juror denied the allegations of misconduct, but Judge Perry dismissed the juror. She asked the remaining 11 jurors to deliberate on Davis and Anthony Francis. They convicted Germaine Davis, but were again unable to reach a verdict on Anthony. His retrial was held in August 2002. One week later, the jury returned a guilty verdict against him. Hard Work Pays Off All of the major players were convicted. Robert Francis received a sentence of life in prison, Leo Muhammad was sentenced to 30 years in prison, Anthony Francis received a sentence of 35 years in prison, Garrett Parker was sentenced to 17 years' imprisonment, and Freddy Burgueno was sentenced to seven years in prison. Operation Cash Run required the full expertise and resolve of the St. Louis PMN Team--Team Leader Marian Post and Inspectors Dennis Simpson, Bryan Witt, Steve Dowd, James Ball, and Jill Gregg, and the Los Angeles PMN Team--Team Leader Tom Dugan and Inspectors Kim Gordon, Mark Mancuso, Vickie Martin, Jane DeFillippo, and Dave Focht, as well as Los Angeles Police Detectives Gary Milligan and David Jones. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service extends its thanks to DEA Special Agent Ken Williams for his invaluable knowledge of wire taps and surveillances, AUSA John Ware for his expert guidance, AUSAs Tiffany Becker and Tom Albus for their unflagging energy, and St. Louis Police Detectives Tom Lewellyn and Rick Koenemann for their contributions as seasoned narcotic detectives. Postal Inspectors Dennis Simpson, Tom Dugan, and Kim Gordon, DEA Agent Ken Williams, and St. Louis Police Detectives Tom Lewellyn and Rick Koenemann received Distinguished Service Awards from the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Missouri, and Meritorious Achievement Awards from the West Central Region Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, for their contributions to the success of Operation Cash Run. "Sneak a peek" warrant on Express Mail package. Robert Francis mails Express Mail package at Ballwin, Missouri, Post Office. Robert Francis carries shipping material into his apartment. Freddy Burgueno leaves Francis' apartment with Express Mail packages. Robert Francis enters his apartment with another Express Mail package. Robert Francis and courier Tiffany Barry leave Francis' apartment. Travis Porter picks up Express Mail package in Los Angeles at CMRA. January 2000 seizure of 9 kilos of cocaine from Tiffany Barry. Left to right: DEA Special Agent Ken Williams, IRS Special Agent Chris Henry, Inspector Dennis Simpson, Sergeant Rick Sanders of the Missouri Highway Patrol, and Detective Rick Koenemann of the St. Louis Police Department. With the back seat removed, the cocaine is exposed during the Tiffany Barry stop by Trooper Sanders. The task force seized $30,000 in a safe in Anthony Francis' residence. An Express Mail package with $40,000 was found in an electronically controlled hidden compartment behind the rear seat of a 1988 Cutless seized from Robert Francis. Weapons seized during the investigation. Operation Cash Run: (left to right) AUSA Tiffany Becker, Detective Rick Koenemann, St. Louis Police Department, Inspector Dennis Simpson, Detective Tom Lewellyn, St. Louis Police Department, AUSA John Ware. Missing from photo: DEA Special Agent Ken Williams, Inspectors Tom Dugan and Kim Gordon, and AUSA Tom Albus. Post Office Inspectors and Their Hunt for the 1930s Tri-State Gang By Postal Inspector Ron J. Pry, North Houston Domicile, Houston Division During the gangster heyday of the 1920s and 1930s, Post Office Inspectors met their fair share of gun-toting sociopaths who targeted the U.S. Mail, especially gold and currency shipments sent by the Federal Reserve Banks to various financial institutions. The man pictured in this original 1934 Wanted Poster would certainly place at the top of any list of the most dangerous postal offenders ever sought by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Walter Legenza, who stood five-feet, four-inches tall, proved to be an elusive, violent, cold-blooded murderer who was also a mail robber and a jail escapee. His cohort, Robert Mais, was equally ruthless. The two men, shown in old police mug shots (see next page), were leaders of the Tri-State Gang that operated from Richmond, Virginia, to New York City. The gang's exploits have been the focus of numerous magazine and newspaper stories, as well as a 1950 movie, Highway 301, a reference to the gang's favored escape route. Even Batman battled the Tri-State Gang in a 1930s-era comic book. Then in December 1959, a brand-new, hit TV series, The Untouchables, featured an episode appropriately titled "The Tri-State Gang," starring William Bendix as Walter Legenza. Legenza and Mais first came to the attention of Post Office Inspectors on March 8, 1934. In broad daylight in downtown Richmond, Legenza and Mais held up a mail truck thought to be carrying bags of currency from a local Federal Reserve Bank. Legenza forced open the back door of the truck and shot the truck driver to death. Another employee, hiding on the floor board, escaped death only because Legenza didn't see him. Legenza and Mais then grabbed assorted mail sacks and sped away. It was later they discovered the sacks contained only canceled checks and bank papers, and that the killing had been pointless. A few weeks later the girlfriend of Mais, Leonora Fontaine, identified Legenza and Mais as responsible for the robbery and killing, but she had great difficulty telling her story. Barely clinging to life, she was recovering from gunshot wounds that punctured a lung and barely missed her heart. The injuries came from bullets fired by Legenza and Mais, who also shot Legenza's girlfriend at the same time in a botched effort to silence the women from telling what they knew. Only Leonora Fontaine survived, although she was far from safe. While Leonora was recovering at Delaware County Hospital in Philadelphia, Legenza hired an assassin, "Big George" Phillips, who then failed twice in his efforts to end Leonora's life. The failures resulted in the termination of Big George--literally, by way of several .38 caliber bullets fired by Mais. Undeterred and desperate to silence Ms. Fontaine, Legenza and Mais attempted to bomb the hospital, but were foiled in that effort, too. Finally, "the woman who knew too much" was moved under heavy guard to Washington, DC, where she recovered from her wounds. Leonora then freely answered all questions posed by Post Office Inspectors and other lawmen. Realizing Lenora was now in the hands of the feds, Legenza and Mais fled to Baltimore and found a new hideout, a rented house in a quiet neighborhood. But suspicious neighbors soon noticed the two occupants were never seen during daylight. Only after nightfall was there any activity, with men coming and going at all hours. Unknown to the neighbors, the Tri-State Gang was recruiting new members and planning new heists. After neighbors tipped off local police, an astute detective recognized Mais from a mug shot that described him as "a ratty little killer with a high pitched squeaky voice" who had "Mother" tattooed on his arm. Once Mais and Legenza were identified, a squad of police attempted to arrest the duo as they left the house in a vehicle. Mais saw the lawmen and opened fire with a revolver. Answering fire from police machine guns dropped Mais with six bullet wounds to the stomach. Legenza attempted to speed away, but his vehicle was riddled with bullets, causing him to crash into oncoming police cars. Legenza fled back to the house uninjured, but volleys of machine gun fire convinced him to surrender. For a quiet suburban neighborhood, June 4, 1934, would be a day not soon forgotten. Mais and Legenza weren't just cold-blooded killers, they were also lucky. Legenza wasn't even injured in the gun battle with police, and Mais recovered from his wounds. Both were eventually transported back to Richmond and, in August 1934, convicted in state court of murdering the mail truck driver. Both received the death sentence. The Tri-State Gang should have been history at this point, but their luck held out. While awaiting his date with the electric chair, Mais's mother smuggled two pistols, concealed in a baked turkey, to the Richmond City Jail's two most notorious inmates. Barely one month after their murder conviction, the pair broke out on a sunny Saturday afternoon in September. A running gun battle ensued in downtown Richmond. With Legenza and Mais firing volleys of gunshots and reloading on the run, they eventually hijacked a post office truck and disappeared, leaving behind one dead police officer and two other officers wounded and bleeding on the pavement. On the loose again, Legenza and Mais picked up $50,000 in quick cash by kidnapping a Philadelphia mob boss turned banker. Once they got the money, they murdered the banker. They next hit a military arsenal at Norristown, Pennsylvania, stealing automatic rifles, pistols and thousands of rounds of ammunition. The gang was now heavily armed. Post Office Inspectors and other lawmen feared for the worst. Then something incredible happened. The gang that couldn't be stopped by the local police or the feds met their downfall in the form of a nine-year-old schoolgirl. The girl told her friends at school she was afraid to go home because her mother's friends were staying there and they had lots of guns. A schoolmate told her parents the story, and they in turn spoke to the Philadelphia police. Before long, the police had identified Legenza as one of the occupants. Knowing Legenza and his gang were now heavily armed with machine guns, the police approached the house slowly in an armored truck. It was just past sundown, and the police surveillance team confirmed everyone was still in the house. As the armored vehicle turned onto the street, Legenza and Mais drove off in a car. Again, Lady Luck was their ally. Detectives sped after the duo while the armored vehicle made its way to the residence. Legenza and Mais were cornered at the nearby Wayne Junction Railway Station. A violent shoot-out followed as passengers dove for cover. Most of the detectives, armed with Thompson submachine guns, couldn't use their weapons in the station without a risk of hitting bystanders, a concern not shared by Legenza or Mais. The fugitives managed to escape again, although Legenza was seen being helped away from the scene by Mais, who also appeared injured. Back at Legenza's hideout, the armored truck had stopped in the yard, and police crashed through the front door. They found two gang members still inside, one of whom was wanted for killing a police officer. They also found two women and nearly all the stolen military arsenal and munitions. But Legenza and Mais were gone, and Post Office Inspectors issued the Wanted Poster (see previous page). By January 1935, the investigation led to New York City. Rumors in the mob underworld had surfaced that Legenza was in a local hospital after breaking both legs in a fall at a railway station during a shoot-out. A task force of Post Office Inspectors, agents from the Department of Justice, and New York and Philadelphia police officers visited all the hospitals in New York City, personally viewing every patient with leg injuries. On January 18, 1935, the task force found their man at Presbyterian Hospital. Walter Legenza was lying helpless in a hospital bed with casts on both legs. He was arrested without resistance. Robert Mais was found a few hours later hiding in a boarding house under an assumed name. He too was confined to bed, suffering from machine gun wounds received months earlier in Baltimore. Legenza and Mais had more than proven their talents at escape and murder. There would be no more delays in returning them to Virginia, or in carrying out their death sentence. Barely two weeks after being captured, Legenza and Mais were executed on February 2, 1935, in Virginia's electric chair. Two of the most violent fugitives ever sought by Post Office Inspectors were permanently removed from society. The poster and mug shots are from the Ron J. Pry Historical Collection. The Life and Times of Post Office Inspector John P. Clum By Postal Inspector Ron J. Pry, North Houston Domicile, Houston Division This 1898 photo is one of two "side-by-side" photos called stereoviews, and are designed to be placed in a handheld viewer called a stereoscope. Peering into the binocular-looking contraption gives viewers a vivid picture with much more dimension than standard photographs available at the time. By the end of the 19th century, most modern homes had a stereoscope and an assortment of photos proudly displayed in the parlor for guests and family members to enjoy. The man in the top photo is John P. Clum, who lived from 1851 through 1932. His life and career as a Post Office Inspector depict the quintessential American frontier life. Clum began his career in public service as a weather observer, but left that position in 1874 for one that offered greater adventure. John Clum became an Indian agent and scout on the Apache Reservation in San Carlos, Arizona. It was during this time that he captured the Apache leader Geronimo. Although Geronimo would escape twice--and then surrender after extensive military manhunts--Clum remained the only man who tracked him down and forcefully took him into custody. By 1880 Clum left the Indian reservation and became the founding editor of the "Tombstone Epitaph." In his inaugural edition, he coined the phrase "Every Tombstone needs an Epitaph." He used the newspaper to promote his beliefs concerning law and order on a near-daily basis, and he quickly allied himself with the town's marshal, Virgil Earp, Virgil's brothers Wyatt and Morgan, and their associate, John "Doc" Holliday. Clum was the first to report the story of the gunfight at the OK Corral, which occurred on October 26, 1881, only a few dusty blocks from Clum's office. His defense of the Earps and Holliday was unambiguous, "They did their job and they did it well." Clum left Tombstone in 1882 after selling his newspaper and leaving his positions as town mayor and postmaster. He returned briefly in 1885 to serve again as postmaster, but left a year later. Seeking adventure, he rejoined the Post Office Department in 1891 to accept a position as a Post Office Inspector. In a letter written years later, he described his first domicile, a territory assignment that covered more than 120,000 square miles: "During 1891 and 1892, I was in Texas for the Post Office Department [as an Inspector]. I had headquarters at Austin and San Antonio and my field was the Western Judicial District of Texas--68 counties extending south to Brownsville and west to El Paso." But Clum's experiences in Tombstone, known throughout the country as a rough, tough, silver mining boomtown, convinced the Postmaster General that Clum's talents were needed up north in what at that time was called the "Alaska Territory." Gold had been discovered in an area called the Klondike. More than 100,000 would-be millionaires and dreamers made the trek across Canada into the vast, bitter-cold Alaskan wilderness. Clum was dispatched to establish post offices, appoint postmasters, and determine postal routes. The actual appointment of postmasters had until that time been the sole province of the Postmaster General. Inspector Clum, however, convinced the PMG to delegate that authority to him, arguing convincingly, if not eloquently, that if the usual three-year wait for processing postmaster nominations applied to Alaska "the new postmaster would have been eaten up by bears, died of old age or scurvy, or left the country." The stereoview of Clum shown with this article was taken on April 4, 1898, in Sheep Camp, Alaska, on the Chilkoot Trail. It was the day after Palm Sunday and Clum had been delayed by what became widely known as "The Palm Sunday Avalanche of '98." More than 60 fortune seekers, known as "Stampeders," had been killed and many more injured. Inspector Clum helped search for survivors and recover bodies. His task finished, he then made his way into Sheep Camp and established the town's first post office. He paused in front of a general store, located in a tent, to pose for this photograph. His description of Chilkoot Pass accompanies the photograph on the opposite page. Clum remained an Inspector in Alaska until 1906. During his career as an Inspector, Clum traveled more than 8,000 miles throughout Alaska, appointing postmasters and creating post offices. He traveled by mule, as shown in the stereoview, because mules were far more sure-footed and hardy than horses, a necessity for covering the rugged, icy, and mountainous terrain. After his career as a Post Office Inspector, Clum was appointed postmaster for Fairbanks, a job he stayed with until his retirement in 1909. John Clum died in 1932, barely three years after serving as pallbearer for his life-long friend, Wyatt Earp. The diamond-studded gold locket he received from the Post Office Department at his retirement is now in the possession of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. A larger version of the original photograph shown on page 27 is archived at the Library of Congress. Miners and Packers Climbing the 'Golden Stair' Trail, Chilkoot Pass, Alaska "In this view we have ascended about one-fourth of the icy stairway and pause a moment to rest and view the strange, stupendous and impressive panorama which spreads away before us down the trail and through the openings of the great canyon towards Dyea. The throng here represented faithfully depicts the conditions which prevailed along the Dyea trail and on the Chilkoot Pass for months during the progress of this crusade. From morning till night, and day after day, this line of struggling, hopeful, silent men toiled up this steep and difficult grade. Their numbers and the close order of their march required a measure to their tread, which will pass down in history as the famous 'lock-step of the Chilkoot.'" -- John P. Clum, U.S. Post Office Inspector and Lecturer "The Tombstone Epitaph" published an article, which you may find to this day, displayed with a perverse sense of pride, in some Postal Inspection Service offices: "A typical Post Office Inspector is a man past middle age--spare, wrinkled, intelligent, cold, passive, noncommittal, with eyes like a codfish, polite in contact but, at the time, non-responsive; calm, and as damnably composed as a concrete post or a plaster of Paris case; a petrification with a beard of feldspar and without charm or the friendly germ; minus passion or a sense of humor. Happily, they never reproduce and all of them finally go to hell." Although the authenticity of this description could not be verified, like so many other entertaining stories of the American frontier, the embellishment and western flavor of the description far outweighs the issue of whether it is truly fact or folklore. Thanks to Postal Inspector Tripp C. Brinkley for his contributions to this story (and this photo). One Good Intern Deserved an Offer Postal Inspector Chris Adams Joined Our Team Can an unpaid internship be turned into a rewarding career in law enforcement? U.S. Postal Inspector Chris Adams of the New York Division is a good person to ask. By Postal Inspector Lori A. Groen, Milwaukee Field Office, Chicago Division Chris attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1996, and majored in criminal justice. When the university encouraged students to join an intern program, Chris decided to seek one with a law enforcement agency. Specifically, he sought one with the Milwaukee Field Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Chris first became interested in the Inspection Service when he was an Explorer at the Forest Park, Ohio, Police Department. (To learn more about the Explorer program, read "Explorer Post #3972 Gives Young Recruits an Inside Look at Law Enforcement," in this issue of the Bulletin.) At age 15, Chris won a trip to the FBI Academy, but chose also to visit the Postal Inspection Service's Career Development Division in Potomac, Maryland. "I thought about the fact that the U.S. Mail touches everyone's life, nearly every day," said Chris. "I loved the variety of work that Postal Inspectors did and I wanted to learn more about the agency, so I applied to their Internship Program." The Milwaukee Field Office had never had an intern, but the idea of helping Chris appealed to Assistant Inspector in Charge Rudy Green. "We're happy to assist people who are interested in law enforcement careers," said AIC Green. The Milwaukee Field Office accepted Chris as its first student intern. Chris was motivated to learn as much as possible during his three days a week working with Postal Inspectors. He helped with credit card fraud cases, surveillances, and Express Mail label checks. He also conducted research for the U.S. Attorney's Office about the risks to law enforcement officers from blood-borne pathogens. "I was encouraged by Team Leader Virgil Guralski to pursue my interest in law enforcement in general, and the Postal Inspection Service especially," Chris said. When the internship ended, Guralski's evaluation to Chris' university advisor read, "Chris had a positive attitude and a willingness to work, and he continually sought self-improvement." After graduating from Marquette University in May 1996, Chris served four years with the U.S. Army--one year in training and three years as a paratrooper. In the spring of 1997, he took the written test for U.S. Postal Inspectors given at Charlotte, North Carolina, although he had two more years to serve in the Army. "I also applied to the DEA and FBI," said Chris, "but the FBI told me I was too young, and I didn't follow through with DEA because I knew I wanted to become a Postal Inspector." Chris passed the written text and began Basic Training in January 2002, at Potomac, Maryland. "I was very excited to be accepted," he recalled. Thanks to a positive attitude and a willingness to take on new challenges, Chris is now a Postal Inspector at the New York Division, working fraudulent workers' compensation investigations in Brooklyn. Chris followed his dream, and the Postal Inspection Service is all the richer for it. Explorer Post #3972 Gives Young Recruitsan Inside Look at Law Enforcement Law Enforcement Exploring is a national program aimed at encouraging adolescents interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement. Program sponsors, called Explorer posts, comprise federal, state, and local law enforcement groups that endorse Law Enforcement Exploring by offering resources--including money, time, and staffing--to attract motivated young adults in the community. Explorer posts try to combine practical instruction with fun, hands-on activities. Key to a successful post is the active participation of leaders from a variety of law enforcement agencies. The New York Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service established its Explorer Post #3972 in September 2002. It now has 20 students enrolled in the program. Led by U.S. Postal Inspector Danita DeVaul and Postal Police Colonel Frank Bonelli, Post #3972 is a dynamic example of what such programs offer. In the first six months of 2003, Explorers visited Camp Smith near Peekskill, New York, for defensive tactics training. They participated in Law Enforcement Air Day, sponsored by the FBI at the Morristown, New Jersey, Airport and helped produce a Bomb Threat and Search training video. At the Explorer Law Enforcement Winter Competition, Explorers from Post #3972 won first place. Inspector DeVaul and Colonel Bonelli also took Explorers on two all-night outings that included day visits to view security operations at the Postal Service's Morgan Processing and Distribution Center in Manhattan, and at the U.S. Customs offices at JFK Airport. In May 2003, Post #3972 entered the Explorer Law Enforcement Spring Competition in Staten Island and took third place in the White Collar Crime event. July 2003 offered an intensive month of activities for the Explorers, who took a field trip to Washington, D.C. The four-day, three-night visit began with a tour of the White House and continued to the U.S. Senate to watch legislators in action at the Capitol. At the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Explorers located the names of fallen Postal Inspectors and Postal Police Officers. The enthusiastic crew toured the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and then headed to Dulles, Virginia, for a behind-the-scenes look at the Postal Inspection Service's National Forensic Laboratory to learn about the invaluable work of forensic analysts. On their last morning, the Explorers ascended to the top of the Washington Monument and then walked down its 896 steps for the guided tour. According to Inspector DeVaul, Post #3972 members had bonded as a unit by the end of the trip. "They all worked together to complete chores and took turns cooking, cleaning, and packing," she said. "That's important, because learning to work as part of a team is essential to being a good investigator. It was a rewarding experience for all of us, and I'm proud to have been a part of it," reflected DeVaul, who was assisted on the D.C. trip by Postal Police Lieutenant Linda Esposito and a male chaperone. Explorers from Post #3972 are now looking forward to a trip to Atlanta planned for July 2004 to attend the National Law Enforcement Explorers' Conference. There they expect to compete with Explorers from across the country and apply lessons they've learned from their mentors at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Middle rear: Darius Gonzalez. Second row (left to right): Kenneth Fields, Vivian Xie, Johnathan Earle, James Wong. Front row: Jessica Huang, Jasmine McCullough, Valerie Matos, Jennifer Wong 'Total Package' National Bodybuilder and Postal Police Officer Allan Terrell Is at the Top of His Class Fitness buffs may recognize Postal Police Officer Allan Terrell of the Postal Inspection Service's St. Louis Division when they see him--if not by his face, then by his imposing physique. Competing for just five years as a professional bodybuilder, PPO Terrell has been featured on Fox Television's "USA Muscle" show and has appeared in Flex and Iron Man magazines. Certified as a personal trainer by the American Council on Exercise, Allan has won armfuls of trophies. Other Postal Police Officers call Allan "Muscles" or "Little Hercules" because of his five-foot, four-inch frame and lean 154-pound profile, while other bodybuilders call him "TP," as in "Total Package," alluding to his muscularity, symmetry, and strong presentation at bodybuilding competitions. Underlying Terrell's physique is a burning desire to excel as a bodybuilder and reach his ultimate goal: winning a national competition. PPO Terrell's drive has propelled him toward the elite across several weight classes. Winning an impressive string of awards over the last three years, Terrell was second at the USA Championships in 2000 as a bantamweight, fourth in the Junior Nationals in 2000 and 2001 as a lightweight, fourth again at the Team Universe Championships in 2002 as a lightweight, first place at the Indianapolis Open Championships, and sixth at the Nationals in 2002 as a bantamweight. "Every year I get closer and closer to the top," said PPO Terrell, and he believes that "dedication, hard work, and discipline" have continued to work in his favor. PPO Terrell reached his dream of winning a national crown in August 2003, taking first place at the Team Universe Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships in New York City. Not only is PPO Terrell now at the top of his field, but as a result of the win is a member of the United States men's team bound for the 2003 International Federation of Bodybuilders' World Championships, scheduled to be held in India. The event could be postponed, due to political unrest in that country. Prior to his August success, Terrell's proudest achievement was winning the National Gym Association's (NGA's) Mid-Central States Bodybuilding Title in 1999. "That qualified me for pro status with the NGA," he said. NGA membership is a badge of honor among bodybuilders, as members must achieve exceptional physical form without drugs or artificial supplements, placing added importance on a rigid exercise program and a lean, balanced diet. Terrell's next goal is the National Physique Committee Nationals at Miami in November 2003. Winning there will be a tall order, even for "Total Package Terrell," but the Postal Inspection Service is cheering him on to his goal. PPO Terrell follows this daily exercise program and menu for the 12 weeks preceding a bodybuilding competition. 4:00 a.m. Treadmill, stationary bike, and Stairmaster for 30 minutes. Breakfast of 6 egg whites, 1 egg yolk, 5 oz. lean beef, and 1/2 grapefruit. 9:00 a.m. Protein shake with strawberries, 1 tablespoon flax oil, and 12 oz. water. 11:30 a.m. Lunch of 8 oz. chicken breast, 2 cups green vegetables, and 1 tablespoon flax oil. 1:30 p.m. Snack of 6 oz. canned tuna, 3 egg whites, 1 egg yolk, and a tomato. 4:00 p.m. Weightlifting for 2 to 21/2 hrs. 7:30 p.m. Dinner of 8 oz. fish and 2 cups' green vegetables. 9:00 p.m. Optional meal of fish and vegetables. 10:00 p.m. Cardio exercise for 30 minutes. Ex-Klan Leader David Duke Sentenced to 15 Months for Mail and Tax Fraud by Postal Inspector William A. Bonney, New Orleans Field Office, Houston Division In October 1999, prosecutors for the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Orleans, Louisiana, requested that Postal Inspectors join a task force investigating allegations that former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke committed acts of tax evasion, money laundering, and mail fraud. David Duke was a well-known figure, not just to voters in Louisiana, but to Americans nationwide. When he decided to run for President in 1988, Democratic party leaders barred Duke from running on their ticket, so he signed with the Populist Party and hired ex-American Nazi leader Ralph Forbes as his campaign manager. David Duke's name appeared on 15 state ballots and he received 0.5 percent of the national vote. Duke next won a runoff in 1988 for a Louisiana House seat by only a 227-vote margin. He left that office after a single term in 1992. Running again as a Republican, Duke lost a primary for the U.S. Senate to Democratic incumbent J. Bennett Johnston. Duke still managed to get 43.5 percent of the vote. In 1991, Duke ran second to Edwin Edwards as a Republican in the Louisiana Governor's primary election. Duke lost the primary, but still won 39 percent of the vote. In 1992, Duke's short-lived Presidential bid ended with South Carolina's primary election. Postal Inspectors in New Orleans began investigating David Duke in 1999. They started with solicitation letters he had mailed asking for cash donations from supporters. The letters claimed Duke was broke, but Inspectors found he was lying. In the letters were a number of misrepresentations. For example, Duke claimed he had lost money as the result of his unsuccessful bids for elected offices. In another letter he said he was the subject of a lawsuit filed as the result of a fight that broke out at one of his campaign rallies, leaving him vulnerable to a "six-figure judgment." Duke allegedly was liable for yet another six-figure fine stemming from a possible state ethics violation. He told his supporters that he needed their money to spread his message: White Power! End Immigration to the United States! Postal Inspectors knew Duke's claims of poverty were bogus. Duke had paid cash for a house and still had half a million dollars in the bank. They determined he hid the money by putting his account under someone else's name when it was time to negotiate donors' checks. Likewise, Duke's stories about liabilities from lawsuit judgments were less than factual. He had been dismissed from one suit and had paid a $10,000 fine to settle the ethics violation. As for needing money to spread his message, Duke's speaking engagements were fully paid for by his sponsors. Postal Inspectors executed a search warrant at Duke's home in Mandeville, Louisiana, on November 16, 2000. Duke wasn't there, having left for Russia several months earlier for a speaking engagement. He remained in Russia during much of the time he was under investigation. The search of Duke's home yielded more donors' names and some previously unknown solicitation letters. The task force found Duke had mailed 26 versions of his solicitation letters between 1995 and 1999. Inspectors also interviewed scores of Duke's supporters across the country, as well as aides who had prepared and sent his letters via the U.S. Mail. They analyzed Duke's bank accounts and credit card activity to learn how Duke had spent his admirers' money. More subpoenas were issued to financial firms, mutual funds companies, and credit card issuers associated with the man. Charting Duke's credit card expenditures proved formidable, as he maintained more than 30 active and inactive accounts. Inspectors also analyzed his financial doings to substantiate allegations of money laundering. Postal Inspectors discovered Duke had never had a full-time job. He used donations to cover personal living expenses, although many of his supporters could hardly afford their generous contributions to his cause. Then he failed to report the donations as personal income when filing federal returns. Worse, Duke's "living expenses" included huge sums he spent gambling in Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, and offshore casinos. On December 18, 2002, Duke entered a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Louisiana. He agreed to plead guilty to a two-count Bill of Information charging him with mail fraud and tax evasion. In return, the government agreed not to bring other charges against him related to his suspect fund-raising activities involving the U.S. Mail, or his fraudulent income tax filings. In the end, Duke may have agreed to the plea to avoid harsher money laundering charges. David Duke was sentenced on March 12, 2003, to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. On April 15, Duke reported to federal prison in Big Spring, Texas, to begin serving his sentence. State and federal agents raided David Duke's Mandeville house. They took banking records, book deal records, campaign records, and a rifle. Chief Inspector Awards Presented to AUSAs in New Orleans for their Contributions to the Successful Prosecution of David Duke On September 10, 2003, Chief Postal Inspector Lee R. Heath presented the Chief Inspector's Award to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carter K.D. Guice and Jan Maselli Mann, both of the Eastern District of Louisiana, in appreciation for their exemplary work in the successful prosecution of former Louisiana State Representative David E. Duke. AUSA Mann recognized early in the investigation that David Duke had committed mail fraud and tax evasion when he solicited thousand of dollars through the U.S. Mail from contributors who were duped into believing they were supporting his political endeavors. Ms. Mann brought the case to U.S. Postal Inspectors, and later staged negotiations with Duke that resulted in his guilty plea. AUSA Guice worked closely with Postal Inspectors in New Orleans and enabled them to secure a search warrant at Duke's home. Mr. Guice interviewed numerous campaign contributors, victims, and potential witnesses in the case and was instrumental in negotiating Duke's return to the United States from Russia to face the charges brought against him. Left to right: U.S. Postal Inspector Michael A. Mackert, Acting Assistant Inspector in Charge of the New Orleans Field Office, Houston Division; Jan Maselli Mann, First Assistant U.S. Attorney of New Orleans, Eastern District of Louisiana; and Carter K.D. Guice, Assistant U.S. Attorney of New Orleans, Eastern District of Louisiana. from Pakistan to the United States U.S. Postal Inspectors Untangle a Web of Mail Fraud, Credit Card Fraud, Internet Fraud, and Identity Theft By Postal Inspector Barry G. Mew, San Francisco Division Khurram Iftikhar was an unproductive college drop-out in Karachi, Pakistan. With a loan from his father, he started a business selling used refrigerators, air conditioners, VCRs, and TVs, which he sold in the United Arab Emirates. Most of his products were shipped through Singapore. The business eventually failed, but not before Iftikhar learned a lot about shipping routes and freight-forwarding operations in Asia, Europe, and America. He already knew about online auction sites. He also knew he could easily steal credit card numbers from auction transactions. And he couldn't resist the temptation. Soon Iftikhar was auctioning non-existent equipment, stealing credit card numbers of buyers, and using them to order more equipment online. Naturally, he never sent the buyers any of the items they had paid for. In legal terms, that's "failure to deliver." That's mail fraud. That's what put U.S. Postal Inspectors on Iftikhar's tail. Meanwhile, new and refurbished computers, inkjet cartridges, laptops, memory cards, Intel processors, monitors, printers, and CD drives flowed into Pakistan. Most of it got there after traveling from the United States and Canada through Singapore, and through the United Arab Emirates. Tracking the shipments was difficult, because several freight-forwarding companies were used. Postal Inspector Barry Mew was still new to the intricacies of Internet fraud when he took a call from the Monterey, California, Sheriff's Office in November 1999. The deputy reported that someone using an alias of Alexy Stanley had ordered Hewlett Packard inkjet toner cartridges from Office Depot's Internet Web site and had paid for them with a stolen credit card. The delivery address was a Mail Boxes Etc., but the MBE clerk had orders to forward the packages to Singapore. Alexy Stanley had faxed his (bogus) photo ID to Mail Boxes Etc. along with prepaid shipping labels with forwarding addresses in Paris, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. There were now multiple reports of similar Internet purchases made with stolen cards. All of the items were delivered to various Mail Boxes Etc. stores, and each store had instructions to ship the customer's mail overseas. Inspector Mew called MBE's manager of Public Affairs to suggest the chain issue a nationwide fraud alert to its stores. The tactic was immediately successful, prompting new reports of fraudulent transactions. Mew then helped MBE set up "red flags" for clerks so they could recognize and halt bad transactions, return the fraudulently ordered items to merchants, and help gather intelligence on the growing problem. The Inspector also spoke with Office Depot's regional loss prevention manager, Mike Ogden, and got lists of his store's bad online transactions and dollar losses. Mike Riebs, a Hewlett Packard investigator in Boise, Idaho, provided Mew with information showing the online buyer was accessing the Internet from sites in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates. Postal Inspector Mew next spoke with the people whose credit cards had been stolen and used to purchase the online goods. After interviews and analyses, Inspector Mew identified the one thing shared by all of the victims: Each had bought computer items online at Internet auction sites, such as Yahoo.com and Ubid.com. Fraudulent charges to Internet merchants began appearing shortly thereafter. Mew knew the auctions were scams, set up only for the purpose of stealing people's credit card numbers. Inspector Mew had to put the case on hold when he was assigned to the FBI's Emergency Operations Center in San Francisco, part of the Postal Inspection Service's response to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and the anthrax mailings. In between answering emergency calls, Mew mentioned the Singapore fraud scheme to fellow investigators at the center. Michael Pak, a U.S. Customs senior special agent sitting nearby, showed interest in the case. Pak was transferring to an investigative assignment in Singapore. The men exchanged e-mail addresses for future follow-up. Inspector Mew's next step was to contact Singapore Police overseas. He asked the officers about an address where the stolen goods were being shipped. But it was another dead end: The address belonged to Merstar, a freight-forwarding company that gave them no information. Mike Ogden set up new procedures at Office Depot to capture the online addresses of buyers. Inspector Mew could now see the fraudulent orders were coming from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and from Karachi, Pakistan. Western Union money transfers sent to Mail Boxes Etc. also came from Dubai. U.S. Customs Agent Michael Pak called Inspector Mew in March 2002. Agent Pak and Singapore Police checked the Merstar address Mew gave them. Pak told Mew the packages were held at Merstar until they could be shipped, via Emirates Airlines, to a company called Topoli, located in Dubai. When Agent Pak spoke with Emirates Airlines, he learned that, when the shipments arrived in Dubai, they were forwarded yet again, this time to a company called Fast Track in Karachi, Pakistan. But Agent Pak had already given Inspector Mew the name of the person he considered to be the primary suspect in the case, based on information he'd gotten from Mew and Pakistani police. It was a Karachi man, Khurram Iftikhar. U.S. Customs Senior Special Agent Brian Whitlock in Great Forks, North Dakota, called Inspector Mew in October 2002 after he was alerted to the fraud scheme by Mail Boxes Etc. in North Fargo. Agent Whitlock helped Mew convey case information to Pak in Singapore via U.S. Customs communications channels. At the time, MBE reported forwarding nearly 60 shipments of computer merchandise to Singapore, all of it ordered with stolen credit card numbers. Senior Special Agent Michael Pak traveled to Karachi in November 2002 and spoke with the U.S. Consulate's Security Advisor Zahoor Bashir and Regional Security Officer Michael Lombardo about the case. They exchanged information on computer addresses being used to place the fraudulent orders. Mr. Bashir also began communicating via e-mail with Inspector Mew, who compiled the information and began to track the transactions over the Internet. In December 2002, Pak went with Singapore Police to the Merstar International freight-forwarding company at the Changi Airport in Singapore. They examined and photographed 29 shipments of Compaq, Dell, and Gateway equipment that had arrived recently from the United States. The shipments had already been consolidated at Merstar's warehouse, but were waiting for shipping instructions and payment from the customer. The customer was Khurram Iftikhar. Mew continued to track reports from the many MBEs who were still shipping merchandise. Then he got a long-awaited call from Karachi on December 20. Based on information received from the Postal Inspection Service and provided to U.S. Customs, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Karachi had intercepted and seized two shipments of 15 allegedly stolen Gateway laptop computers that had been sent from Dubai to Karachi. FIA agents detained the two men who arrived to pick up the items. Both shipments were under consignment to Fast Track, a computer company in Karachi owned by Khurram Iftikhar, and had been ordered from Topoli Electronics in Dubai. The Federal Investigation Agency conducted searches at four sites related to Khurram Iftikhar: his Fast Track store, his home, and two storage warehouses he used. The agents seized 200 computer-related items, plus more than 100 Hewlett Packard printers from one of the warehouses. FIA agents arrested four men, including Khurram Iftikhar. They were kept in custody for six months without bail--an almost unheard of punishment in that country. The four now await prosecution. Special thanks go to Michael Pak, former U.S. Customs Senior Special Agent and now eBay's Director of Trust and Safety for Asia-Pacific, for his outstanding efforts in Singapore and Pakistan on this case. More thanks and appreciation for outstanding work go to Zahoor Bashir, U.S. Consulate Security Advisor in Karachi; Michael Lombardo, former Regional Security Officer in Karachi; Brian Whitlock, U.S. Customs Senior Special Agent in Grand Forks, North Dakota; and the Federal Investigation Agency of Karachi, Pakistan, for helping to stop this international fraud scheme. Khurram Iftikhar Iftikhar's store U.S. Consulate Security Advisor in Karachi Zahoor Bashir Former Regional Security Officer in Karachi Michael Lombardo Michael Pak, former U.S. Customs Senior Special Agent and now eBay's Director of Trust and Safety for Asia-Pacific U.S. Customs Senior Special Agent Brian Whitlock U.S. Postal Inspector Barry Mew, San Francisco Division, received a plaque in August 2003 from the U.S. Custom's office in Singapore in appreciation for his "tremendous effort and outstanding cooperation" in the case. Postal Inspectors Put $100 Million Federal Reserve Note--and Its Owner--Out of Commission By Postal Inspector Patricia Mathews, New Jersey/Caribbean Division New Jersey financial management company Pershing, a subsidiary of Credit Suisse, handled securities clearances, offered investment banking, and managed large-scale business development projects around the world. On June 14, 2000, Pershing Vice President William Talbot got a call from Felix McElroy, a broker from Advantage Capital. McElroy's client, Kevin Jackson, wanted to redeem a 1934 Federal Reserve note. The note had a face value of $100 million. Talbot was suspicious. In his long career as a securities expert, he'd never heard of a Federal Reserve note issued at that amount. He told McElroy to mail the paperwork to Pershing's offices and to have Kevin Jackson mail them the note. Then he had one of Pershing's lawyers call the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Carney immediately contacted U.S. Postal Inspector Patricia Mathews. Inspector Mathews listened to the story and agreed to take the case. Then she got approval to use electronic surveillance. AUSAs John Carney and Patrick Rocco, along with Inspectors Pat Mathews and J.V. Barret, devised a plan, which Talbot and Pershing's attorneys helped put into action. Inspector Mathews would play the part of Pat Miller, a fictitious assistant vice president of custody operations at Pershing. Talbot was told to call Felix McElroy and advise him that Pat Miller would be calling to help him with arrangements to redeem the note. Their conversations would be recorded. Inspector Mathews was given a phone number so she could receive calls under the name of Pat Miller at Pershing. Inspector Mathews called Felix McElroy from her Pershing office and introduced herself as VP Pat Miller. When she asked for background information on the note, she was referred to Kevin Jackson's attorneys, Neal Factor and Joseph Yalley. Yalley allegedly had power of attorney for Kevin Jackson's trust account. Yalley gave Jackson's phone number to the Inspector. Mathews used electronic surveillance to record all subsequent conference calls between herself, McElroy, Yalley, and Jackson. Kevin Jackson told Mathews that he got the note from a Filipino man named Carlos Gonzalez, as payment for his "good works" in that country. Gonzalez allegedly got the note from his great uncle, a general in the Philippines. Jackson said he was given the note with the understanding that he would use the proceeds to fund projects in the United States and underdeveloped countries. The Inspector got the whole story on tape. Jackson next told Mathews that an expert had determined the note was authentic, and he produced a letter from Utah State University Professor Ronald Gilmore verifying the age of the note via carbon-date testing. Inspector Mathews checked with Utah State, but Jackson had been leading her on: The school had never employed a Professor Gilmore. Even the letterhead was a fake. On June 19, Joseph Yalley spoke with Mathews again, this time to ask for a $10 million advance on the note, so that Jackson could "meet commitments he had made to some Indian tribes." Jackson was brought in on the conference call to confirm his request. Mathews told Jackson he needed to submit the request in writing and provide still-missing ownership information. Jackson mailed a written request for the advance, which had now grown to $20 million. But Inspector Mathews--posing as Assistant VP Miller--responded with another request for background on the note and proof of its authenticity. Kevin Jackson mailed her the information. When she received Jackson's letter on June 22, Inspector Mathews signed a criminal complaint and obtained an arrest warrant against Kevin Jackson. Mathews, along with Postal Inspector Randy Tuckett of the Salt Lake City Domicile, Denver Division, arrested Jackson at his place of business in Utah. After signing a Warning and Waiver of Rights, Kevin Jackson agreed to talk. Jackson claimed he had 26 notes worth $100 million each, and had placed 25 of them in safekeeping in a Utah bank. The bank's manager had alerted the U.S. Secret Service after receiving a call alleging the notes were fraudulent. Jackson said he met with Secret Service agents, who informed him the notes were "no good" and confiscated all 25 of them as contraband. But Jackson still had the $100 million note he had left hidden in California. This was the note he had sent to Pershing for redemption. The Inspectors turned to the Postal Inspection Service's Forensic & Technical Services Division. They needed to prove the 1934 $100 million Federal Reserve Note was bogus, and they needed to know its origins, manufacture, and date of production to support their case against Jackson. Analysts at the forensic lab examined the note and called Mathews to report their less-than-surprising results: The note was a fraud. And they had definite proof to back their findings. The highest denomination of Federal Reserve notes issued by the U.S. Government for external use was $10,000. The portrait of Benjamin Franklin that appeared on the face of Jackson's note was taken from $100 Federal Reserve notes that were first issued in 1996. The words "The United States of America" that appeared around Franklin's portrait were introduced in 1990 as a new security feature. The seal of the U.S. Treasury inscribed in English had been in use only since 1966--prior inscriptions were in Latin. The seal of the Federal Reserve Bank indicated the note was issued in Cleveland, but the Federal Reserve letter and number designations indicated it was issued in Dallas. And there was more. The note wasn't produced from engraved plates using the intaglio method of printing, as are genuine Federal Reserve notes, and the paper on which it was printed did not contain embedded red and blue security fibers. Worse, the words at the bottom contained an error, reading "One Hundred Million Dollar," rather than dollars. A federal grand jury in Newark, New Jersey, indicted Kevin Jackson in November 2000 on one count of conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud, and one count of transporting a counterfeit security. Jackson pled not guilty, and his trial commenced in May 2001 in Newark. U.S. Secret Service forensic expert Lorelei Pagano testified that the 25 $100 million notes confiscated by the Secret Service were fraudulent. Forensic Analyst Roy Mantle from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service's National Forensic Laboratory testified that the $100 million note Jackson sent to Pershing was fraudulent as well. He backed his claim with a wealth of forensic evidence. Inspector Mathews presented the details of the investigations and introduced the recorded conversations into evidence. After a five-day trial, the jury convicted Kevin Jackson of one count of conspiracy and two counts of mail fraud. On October 3, 2002, less than one year from the time Inspector Pat Mathews got on the case, Jackson was sentenced to four years and three months in prison and three years' probation. Photo of Kevin Jackson NARPI Corner NARPI Reunions Serve Multiple Purposes By NARPI Secretary and Web Site Coordinator Mike Ryan One of the best features of membership in the National Association of Retired Postal Inspectors (NARPI) is the opportunity to attend regional reunions. Four reunions are held each year, one in each region, and one of them is designated the National Reunion. For example, the four reunions held in 2003 were in Daytona Beach, Colorado Springs, Duluth, and Hyannis on Cape Cod; the latter was this year's National Reunion. The 2004 schedule is not yet complete, but the National Reunion is set for late September 2004 in Memphis, home of the Beale Street blues, the Memphis Belle (a famous World War II bomber), and a dynamic tourist atmosphere. The reunions provide an excellent venue for getting together with former classmates and associates. While that alone may be a sufficient reason to attend reunions, the events also provide an excuse to visit family and friends along the way. Naturally, that benefit depends on the location and the mode of travel, but most members have friends and relatives in different areas of the country. We realize that many Inspectors segue into new careers following their retirement. It's a tribute to the valuable skills accumulated by Inspectors during their working years. A new career, however, is not a good reason to delay membership in NARPI. Many members are enjoying the benefits of NARPI while pursuing second careers. If any Inspector believes that joining NARPI means he or she is nearing "rocking chair-hood," we respectfully suggest they are mistaken. Joining NARPI and taking part in its social gatherings as you begin your retirement is the best way to maximize the benefits of membership. We cordially invite all of you who are nearing retirement, or who are already retired but have not yet joined NARPI, to visit our Web site at www.narpi.org for more information and to download an application form. And we look forward to seeing you at one of the 23 chapter meetings held nationwide, or at an upcoming reunion. We're confident you won't regret your decision. Good Works by Good People Postal Inspector Lori Groen gives body and soul to help ailing youngsters Postal Inspector Lori Groen, from the Milwaukee Field Office of the Chicago Division, knows there are intangible rewards to be gained from brightening the life of a young person with a serious medical condition. She learned this from personal experience. Inspector Groen chose to donate her bone marrow some years ago to a little boy suffering from leukemia. But when she got to the hospital, Lori decided she wanted to do even more. "I saw children who'd lost their hair due to chemotherapy, and I wanted to do something to help ease the effects of their treatment," she said. Lori heard about "Locks of Love," a charity that creates hairpieces for children who lose hair due to an illness or medication, and whose families have no money to spare. Lori remembers thinking, "What a wonderful way to make a difference." Lori contacted the charity for information and decided she wanted to contribute to the cause. She allowed her blonde hair to grow for two-and-a-half years--long enough for a 12-inch ponytail, the preferred length for styles favored by young girls. Volunteers at Locks of Love explained that two inches of hair are lost in the process of creating a hairpiece. "I normally wear my hair very short," said Lori, "but I grew it long for the donation." Ten to 15 ponytails are required for each hairpiece. Lori's good works gained their own momentum. "Three people told me they donated their hair after hearing my story. One of them was in her 60s," Lori recalled. "It took me better than two years to grow my hair out, but I'm glad I did." More than 1,000 children from Locks of Love are glad as well. The boost to their self-esteem from the extra locks can make all the difference in coping with illness. And as for providing bone marrow to that "little boy" years ago, Lori said the now healthy, grown-up recipient owns and operates his own computer company. The value of gifts like Lori's may be hard to measure, but they are easy to appreciate. Thank you, Lori. Awards Inspector Beth Bendel Receives National Exploited Children's Award and Is Named 'Officer of the Year' Attorney General John Ashcroft presented Miami Postal Inspector Beth Bendel with one of six National Missing and Exploited Children's Awards at a ceremony in the Great Hall of the Department of Justice. Held in cooperation with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the event honored federal and state law enforcement personnel for their excellence in investigating incidents of missing, abducted, and exploited children during the year. Nominations for the awards are submitted by law enforcement agencies and departments from across the United States. Inspector Bendel received the award for her investigation of a child pornography distributor in Miami Beach, Florida. Ecuadorian Angel Mariscal was arrested by Inspector Bendel in September 2002 for using a commercial mail receiving agency address to sell videotapes and DVDs depicting child pornography. Mariscal is suspected of producing the child pornography he sold, and sexually abusing more than 150 underage females in the process. An especially tragic aspect of the case is that Mariscal was discovered to be HIV positive. Investigators arrested five conspirators in Cuba and Ecuador, and a number of child victims were located and tested for the HIV virus. Inspector Bendel and other award recipients were again honored at the Congressional Breakfast and National Missing and Exploited Children's Awards Ceremony, which was attended by nearly 400 people, including members of Congress and top law enforcement officials. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Officer of the Year Award was announced and presented by Assistant Attorney General Deborah Daniels. The selection was made from among the six National Award recipients. Top honors this year went to Postal Inspector Beth Bendel. This was the fifth consecutive year that Postal Inspectors received the prestigious awards for outstanding investigations involving the sexual exploitation of children. Postal Inspectors have been named Officers of the Year three times over the last five years. No other agency has achieved such acclaim. Friends and Colleagues Pitch in to Speed the Recovery and Return of Postal Inspector Bill Paliscak Postal Inspectors and fellow law enforcement officers continue to show their support for Washington Division Postal Inspector Bill Paliscak as he continues to battle the effects of exposure to anthrax. In February, Inspector Paliscak received the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association's (FLEOA) 2002 National Bravery Award. Richard Gallo, the FLEOA National President; Gary Eager, the Inspection Service's FLEOA President; and Tom Brady, the Washington Division's Inspector in Charge, made the presentation at the association's 25th Anniversary Awards Banquet, held at the Sheraton Premier Hotel in Tyson's Corner, Virginia. Robert E. Van Etten, Inspector General for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, representing the FLEOA Foundation, presented a check for $10,000 to Bill and his wife, Allison. Postal Inspectors from the Washington Division and National Headquarters were among approximately 350 people who attended the event. In March, a special ceremony was held for Bill at the Northwest Hospital Center in Randallstown, Maryland, where he was undergoing physical therapy. INC Tom Brady presented him with an engraved crystal award inscribed with the words, "Duty, Honor, and Determination" as a gift from the division. Formerly an avid hockey player, Bill was also presented with a jersey signed by the Washington Capitals hockey team. In all, approximately 30 division personnel gathered at the hospital to show their support to Bill and to wish him well. Bill attended the Washington Division meeting in April and received the Inspector in Charge Award, along with a check for $4,800 from the Police Emerald Society. He was grateful for the support and encouragement given by other Inspection Service Divisions and law enforcement agencies. Bill continues to recover from a troubling illness that surfaced following his search for evidence of anthrax in October 2001 at the Brentwood mail facility in Washington, D.C. He fell ill soon afterwards and was admitted to Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. He has been undergoing tests and treatment there and at other medical facilities ever since. During Bill's absence from work, a group of devoted Inspectors have tried to minimize the disruption his illness has caused in his home life. Over the past two years, Inspectors have visited the Paliscaks in Maryland to mow their grass; trim bushes; chop, deliver and stack firewood; and shovel snow. The couple expressed their appreciation for the continued support of the Inspection Service family, and all look forward to the day Bill returns to work as a Postal Inspector. Postal Inspection Service Employees from the Los Angeles Division Saluted for Support of Victims and Witnesses Six Los Angeles Division employees of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service were honored by the U.S. Attorney's Office of Victim-Witness Coordinators for their outstanding work in aiding victims and witnesses of federal crimes. U.S. Attorney Debra Yang presented commendations to Postal Inspectors Debra Rikli, Julie Larson, Rebecca Knowles, Teresa Timar and John Mallgren, as well as Inspection Service Operations Coordinator Edward Thompson, during a ceremony at the Federal Building in Los Angeles, California. Victims and witnesses of federal crimes may experience a range of emotions, including anger, confusion, fear, and frustration. Postal Inspectors work with Victim-Witness Coordinators at U.S. Attorney's Offices to resolve victims' problems during lengthy investigations, advise victims of their rights, and assist them in resolving case-related issues. Postal Inspector John Mallgren of the Long Beach External Crimes Team has located and worked extensively with more than 100 victims of identity theft since becoming a Postal Inspector in 1998. Postal Inspectors Rebecca Knowles and Teresa Timar notified hundreds of victims of a mail theft suspect and kept them informed of case developments. The Inspectors' close rapport with victims greatly aided the investigation. The suspect was eventually convicted, sentenced to prison, and ordered to make more than $58,000 in restitution. Postal Inspectors Debra Rikli and Julie Larson ended a phony ostrich investment scheme that bilked 83 people of more than $800,000. The Inspectors spent years locating and visiting victims and witnesses of the scam, providing testimonies crucial to the case. One of the victims had lost all his money and broke off contact with his family. After finding him in a homeless shelter in Denver, Colorado, the Inspectors convinced him to testify against the principals in the case and later helped him reunite with his family after a 10-year silence. Inspection Service Operations Coordinator Edward Thompson alerts people who are victims of identity theft, helps them repair damage to their credit and limit liability, and provides them with prevention tips for future protection. His dedication to helping people has elicited many letters of gratitude from victims, who praised his good work. Inspector in Charge Janice Somerset of the Los Angeles Division said of the group, "Their commitment to victims and witnesses of crime upholds the finest traditions of the Inspection Service." Creative Minds at Work: U.S. Postal Inspection Service Videos and Publication Win Industry Recognition The Employee Development office of the Human Resource Performance group won three awards for two training videos it produced for Postal Inspection Service employees: "PS Form 991 Exposed" and "Get With the Program." Congressional & Public Affairs garnered an APEX 2003 Award of Excellence in the "Brochures, Manuals, and Reports" category for its Publication 162, Because the Mail Matters. "PS Form 991 Exposed," which provides tips on how to complete postal job applications, won a Bronze Telly Award, which is a prestigious honor in the commercial video industry. The Telly recognizes outstanding non-network and cable commercials. "Inspection Service employees love 'PS Form 991 Exposed,'" said Patricia Ward, who co-produced both videos with Training Specialist Leo Resop and the Bolger Media Unit in Potomac, Maryland. She cites growing employee awareness that "a well-written 991 vastly improves your chances of being noticed by a review board." The video was broadcast on PSTN and is now part of a classroom workshop called "411 on the 991," which includes a 36-page handout for participants. "Get With the Program," which introduces the Supervisory Training Program (STP), won the Crystal Communicator Award for excellence in visual communications. It also won the Videographer Award, an international competition that drew 2,400 submissions from communications professionals. STP combines Web-based, classroom, and eLearning training methods. Publication 162, Because the Mail Matters, won an APEX 2003 Award of Excellence. The booklet is intended as a public information guide that provides a snapshot of the history, mission, and operations of the Postal Inspection Service. Since its publication, the Topeka Material Distribution Center has had to reprint it three times due to its overwhelming popularity. APEX 2003, the 15th Annual Awards for Publication Excellence, is an international competition that recognizes outstanding publications. With close to 5,000 entries, competition was exceptionally intense this year. It is the second year the Inspection Service has won an APEX Award. In 2002, the agency won an APEX Award for its 2001 Annual Report of Investigations. Chief Postal Inspector and Miami Division Inspector in Charge Present Awards and Appreciation for Resolution of Letter Carrier Kidnapping and Hostage Incident Chief Postal Inspector Lee R. Heath presented the Chief Inspector Award to Carlos Alvarez, Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, in May 2003. The award was an expression of appreciation for the Miami-Dade Police Department's timely response to the scene of the January 31, 2003, kidnapping and hostage incident involving Postal Service Letter Carrier Tonya Mitchell. Deputy Chief Inspector Anthony J. Crawford and Inspector in Charge James K. Belz of the Miami Division presented certificates of appreciation to Miami-Dade Lead Detective Gerry Starkey and Commander of the Special Response Team Captain Lou Battle. The lead prosecutor in the case, Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Brown and his co-counsel AUSA John Delionado, received framed and engraved aerial photos of the kidnapping scene. Miami Division Postal Inspector Delfin M. Alvarez, lead agent on the case, and Inspectors Rosario Priolo and Elizer Julian, as well as 15 other Inspectors, were recognized for their contributions to the case. Postal Inspector Scott Padgett Named 'Federal Agent of the Year' Postal Inspector Scott Padgett of the Greensboro, North Carolina, Domicile, Charlotte Division, was named Federal Agent of the Year for 2003 at a Recognition of Heroes luncheon sponsored by the Greensboro Optimist Club. Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, as well as staff from the Assistant U.S. Attorney's Office, attended the event. Inspector Padgett's nomination papers stated that he "works tirelessly to protect consumers and businesses. His performance exemplifies the highest ideals of excellence in his work and personal life." Scott Padgett became a Postal Inspector in February 1993 and has worked cases in Charleston, West Virginia, and Greensboro in the areas of mail fraud, Internet fraud, and child pornography. He is a firearms instructor for the Charlotte Division and coordinates firearms qualifications and Threat Management Training. He oversees the latter program for nearly 100 Postal Inspectors in six states. The Optimist Club is an international, non-profit organization with chapters throughout the United States. Its purpose is "to foster an optimistic way of life for the improvement of individuals and society, through local Optimist Clubs dedicated to ever-expanding service to youth, community, and the world." Inspector in Charge Anita Davidson Focuses on Diversity Chicago Division Inspector in Charge Anita Davidson was intrigued when she heard about a contest being sponsored by Panorama, the U.S. Postal Service's Diversity Development newsletter. For Anita, the hook was that entries must illustrate diversity in the workplace through photojournalism. Anita saw the competition as an opportunity to highlight the ethnic diversity of Postal Inspection Service employees, while revealing the variety of talents and skills such diversity brings to the job. Contest judges obviously agreed with Davidson's vision: They selected her photograph as one of the top six entries from more than 100 submissions. INC Davidson's winning entry (below) captures Postal Police Officers participating in a law enforcement sharpshooters' competition. It was published in a special edition of the newsletter. Although this was her first photo contest, Anita has been capturing special moments with her Nikon 35mm camera for the past 30 years, while on vacations, at family events, and on work-related travel. Her interest in photography was kindled in high school, where she was a photographer and editor for her school's newspaper and yearbook. Anita describes her avocation with real passion. "A great photograph can capture the essence of a person's soul, as well as the exact, defining moment of an event," she says. Her creative sensibilities elevated the sharpshooters' competition into an ideal vehicle for promoting USPS diversity goals. "The four-hour pistol competition was the perfect environment for capturing camaraderie among federal, state, and local law enforcement officers," Anita explained in Panorama. "It shows a diverse group of officers sharpening their skills and preparing themselves to protect the employees and assets of the Postal Service." In addition to seeing her photo published, Davidson received a plaque and a cash prize. Postal Inspectors Louis S. Desselle and William A. Bonney are Good as Gold Postal Inspectors Louis S. Desselle and William A. Bonney, both from the New Orleans Field Office of the Houston Division, received Honorary Gold Record Awards from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for their successful investigation of a bootleg recording operation. Inspectors Desselle and Bonney were joined by investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Louisiana Department of Justice to seize approximately 100,000 counterfeit CDs from Guy Mouledoux. Mouledoux was convicted of violating the federal anti-bootlegging statute after Inspectors proved he had illegally reproduced, trafficked, and distributed recordings by artists such as the Beatles and the Beach Boys. Mouledoux was sentenced to five years' probation and four months' detention in a halfway house. He forfeited $205,000 to the RIAA and to the investigative agencies, and $51,000 of that is allotted to the Postal Inspection Service. The inscription on the awards reads: "In appreciation of your efforts to combat sound recording piracy and protect the creative rights of record companies, artists, musicians and composers." San Francisco Postal Inspectors Greenspan, Witt, and Crabb Awarded for Excellence in Law Enforcement Postal Inspectors Marius E. Greenspan, Richard L. Witt, and Gregory S. Crabb of the San Francisco Division received the Excellence in Law Enforcement Award from the Federal Law Enforcement Administrators of the San Francisco Bay Area. The organization comprises leaders from 20 federal law enforcement agencies in Northern California who meet monthly to discuss issues facing their agencies. Inspector Greenspan's award was the result of his exemplary contributions to mail theft and identity theft cases. In particular was an investigation he conducted of a man who was later sentenced to nearly nine years in prison for possessing 7,000 pieces of stolen mail and 2,000 stolen access-device numbers. Inspector Crabb was nominated by the U.S. Secret Service for his contributions as a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Electronic Crimes Task Force. In one instance, Crabb successfully investigated $8 million worth of fraudulent warranty claims filed against a Bay-area computer company. Other cases involved corporate Web sites that were "spoofed" by fraudsters, and computer hackers who stole and then sold personal financial information. Inspector Witt earned recognition for resolving the carjacking, robbery, and assault of a letter carrier. After two suspects were taken into custody, Inspector Witt's skills as an interrogator were credited in eliciting their confessions, which led to the identification of a third suspect and the recovery of nine modified arrow-lock keys. The recovery of the keys saved the Postal Inspection Service hundreds of investigative hours and prevented further mail theft. The three suspects were convicted of kidnapping, assault, robbery, and possession of postal keys. Los Angeles Division Inspectors Bring Master-Sort, Inc. and Its Manager to Justice, Resulting in $3 Million in Restitution for the Postal Service A five-year investigation by Postal Inspector Deborah Waller, supported by a task force of 10 other Inspectors and support staff from the Los Angeles Division, resulted in 23 counts of mail fraud against California direct mailer Master-Sort, Inc., its production manager Jayprakash Dhanak, and Dhanak's wife Leela in June 2000, representing an estimated $7.9 million in losses to the Postal Service. A civil complaint filed under the False Claims Act claimed roughly $23 million in damages against the company. Postal Inspectors found the Dhanaks had directed their employees to alter codes used by Master-Sort's computers to identify its customers' permit and metered mailings, resulting in fraudulent claims for postage refunds from the Postal Service. The Dhanaks also "double-counted" metered mail to claim even larger--but still fraudulent--refunds and ensured their actions were undetected by altering mail samples submitted to the Postal Service for verification purposes. Just as a trial was about to begin in October 2002, Master-Sort, Inc. and Dhanak pled guilty to one count of mail fraud. Master-Sort agreed to pay $3 million in restitution to the Postal Service for losses suffered from January 1995 through 1997, and Jayprakash Dhanak will be jointly liable for $2.5 million of that amount. The company was placed on probation for five years, but sentencing for Dhanak is scheduled for October 2003. Postal Inspector Deborah Waller received the Chief Inspector's Award for her extensive role in preparing this complex case for trial. Postal Inspector Robert J. Goodrich Is Presented with a Distinguished Achievement Award A jersey autographed by the Washington Capitals was presented to Bill as (left to right) Inspector in Charge Tom Brady, Team Leader Barbara Meyer, and Bill's wife Allison look on. Left to right: Los Angeles Division Assistant Inspector in Charge Daniel S. Cortez, Inspector John A. Mallgren of the Long Beach Domicile, Inspector Rebecca S. Knowles of the San Bernardino Domicile, Inspector Teresa M. Timar of the San Bernardino Domicile, Inspector Julie K. Larson of the Santa Ana Domicile, Los Angeles Division Operations Coordinator Edward R. Thompson, and Inspector in Charge of the Los Angeles Division Janice Somerset. (Missing from the awards photo is Postal Inspector Debra A. Rikli of the Santa Ana Domicile.) Patricia Ward and Leo Resop In an aerial photo taken during the incident, some of the more than 100 local, state, and federal officials can be seen during the kidnapping of Letter Carrier Tonya Mitchell. Miami Division Postal Inspector Delfin M. Alvarez, lead agent on the case, and Inspectors Rosario Priolo and Elizer Julian responded to the scene after a report that an unidentified male had jumped into a postal mail truck at NW 185th Street and 39 Court in Miami. Inspector Alvarez positioned his car four vehicles behind the postal truck in pursuit of the hijacker. During the slow-speed chase, the suspect fired two shots, one from a 357 Magnum and the other from a 380 Baikal pistol, but fortunately missed both police and Inspectors on his trail. Four hours later, the suspect released the carrier, who was unharmed, and he himself surrendered an hour later. After a one-week trial, the jury took only an hour to find the suspect, Nevia Abraham, guilty. He was sentenced to three consecutive terms of life in prison. INC Anita Davidson Left to right: Postal Inspector William A. Bonney, Assistant Inspector in Charge Jennifer Broussard, and Postal Inspector Lou Desselle of the Houston Division. Left to right: Deputy Chief Inspector Michael Ahern of the Los Angeles Division and Chief Postal Inspector Lee Heath presented plaques to Postal Inspector Deborah J. Waller, Team Leader Debra A. Harris (Santa Ana Domicile), Inspector in Charge Janice Somerset, and Postal Inspector Robert J. Nigg in recognition of their successful, five-year investigation of direct mailer Master-Sort, Inc. for defrauding the Postal Service. Postal Inspector Robert J. Goodrich (center) of the Los Angeles Division is presented with a Distinguished Achievement Award at the 14th Annual Salute to Federal Law Enforcement, Medal of Valor luncheon. The award was presented by Inspector in Charge Janice Somerset and Deputy Chief Inspector Michael Ahern. Inspector Goodrich was recognized for his investigation of the shooting of a letter carrier who was delivering his route. Goodrich identified and arrested a suspect, who pled guilty and was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison. Call for Entries A Contest of Calendars Attention all active and retired employees of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service: Here's a chance to show off your creative abilities. For the first time ever, Congressional & Public Affairs is holding a Postal Inspection Service Calendar Art Contest, for publication in 2005. We encourage all artists and photographers to submit their work. Contests generally involve a prize, and this one's no different: The 12 winners will each receive a $100 gift certificate, and winning entries will be published in a 2005 calendar, which will be distributed to all active and retired employees. Submissions must have a Postal Inspection Service or postal theme. The judges will look for art or photography, in color or black and white, that will be effective when printed on an 81/2-inch x 11-inch page. Contest Rules - All active and retired Postal Inspection Service employees are eligible to enter, except the Inspector in Charge of Congressional & Public Affairs. - Only original artwork and photographs by submitters will be considered. Copies of other works or reproductions with minor alterations will not be accepted. - All work must be done on your own time. - The artwork must relate to the Postal Inspection Service or Postal Service, but stamp art will not be considered. - You may use any reproducible art medium. - Entries must have a horizontal orientation or be appropriate for reproduction on a horizontal 81/2-inch x 11-inch piece of paper. - If your art has a personal or actual value, we recommend you submit a digital file, color slide, or photo of the piece for judging purposes. We will contact you prior to the final judging to obtain the original. - Include a self-addressed mailer of the proper size for any artwork you wish us to return. We will make every effort to return your work, but we can't be responsible for loss or damage. - Send as many entries as you like, but indicate the medium used (watercolor, acrylic, color transparency, etc.), your name, name of your division or domicile where you work (or last worked, if retired), your home address, and your home and work telephone numbers. - The Postal Inspection Service will have the right to reproduce winning entries on a 2005 Postal Inspection Service Calendar, and possibly in other Inspection Service publications. - Entries must be postmarked by July 31, 2004. Mail entries to: U.S. Postal Inspection Service Congressional & Public Affairs Calendar Art Contest 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW Rm 3500 Washington DC 20260-2175 Attn: Debbi Baer Bulletin, October 2003 Vol. 51, No. 1 The Bulletin is published by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for all Inspection Service employees to share their professional and personal success stories. We encourage all of our readers to send submissions, articles, and photographs to: U.S. Postal Inspection Service Congressional & Public Affairs 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Room 3500 Washington, DC 20260-2175 ATTN: Bulletin Editor Lee R. Heath Chief Postal Inspector Daniel L. Mihalko Inspector in Charge, Congressional & Public Affairs Debbi Baer Editor Martin Communications, Inc. Design Vist our Web site at www.usps.com/postalinspectors