U.S. Postal Inspection Service Bulletin
The Adelphia Investigation – Page 2
Case Agent Postal Inspector Thomas F. Feeney
New York Postal Inspectors and Southern District Prosecutors Expose Rigas Family Fraud.
U.S. Postal Inspection Service Bulletin
Chief Postal Inspector – Washington, DC 20260-2100
Page 2 - The Adelphia Investigation: New York Postal Inspectors and Southern
District Prosecutors Expose Rigas Family Fraud
Page 8 - Postal Inspectors Use Team Approach to Keep Sexual Predators Out of the U.S. Mail
Page 11 - Inspectors Investigate Yellow Pages Scam
Page 13 - Serving America with Pride: Employees of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Serving in the Reserves and the National Guard
Page 21 - Ode to ISIIS—the Inspection Service Integrated Information System
Page 23 - An Introduction to the Office of Counsel
Page 25 - The Fabulous Riches of the Bankruptcy Court: A Guide for U.S. Postal Inspectors
Page 28 - A History of Badges Worn by U.S. Postal Inspectors
Page 30 - The Forgotten Murder: The Death of Post Office Inspector Elbert P. Lamberth
Page 37 - In Memoriam: U.S. Post Office Inspector Ernest M. Harkins
Page 38 - NARPI Corner
Page 39 - Awards
Page 41 - Booked Up With Postal Inspectors
Cover photos: Postal Inspector Thomas F. Feeney offers a riveting account of the Adelphia Communications Corporation investigation. The prosecutive team, comprising members of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, successfully brought the Rigas family to justice. Photos by Larry Ghiorisi, Technical Surveillance Specialist, New York Division, U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
The Adelphia Investigation
New York Postal Inspectors and Southern District Prosecutors Expose Rigas Family Fraud By Postal Inspector Thomas F. Feeney Church Street Domicile, New York Division
In March 2002, Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Richard Owens, Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, referred the investigation of Adelphia Communications Corporation, the nation’s sixth largest cable television company, to New York Division Postal Inspectors. The investigation was initiated in the wake of revelations the company had guaranteed more than $2.3 billion worth of borrowings by the Rigas family—the founders of Adelphia.
The Inspectors’ investigation ended three years later, when Rigas family members arranged to pay victim shareholders $715 million in cash and stock, the company’s auditors agreed to pay $50 million in civil penalties, and two family members received sentences of 15 years and 20 years in prison.
At 10 o’clock on the morning of March 27, 2002, top officers of Adelphia Communications Corporation hosted a conference call. The topic was Adelphia’s projected year-end results, and the officers fielded questions from financial analysts. Representing investment banks and rating agencies such as Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s, the analysts would go on to publish reports rating the investment value of Adelphia’s stock and bonds. Investors used the ratings to gauge Adelphia’s ability to meet its financial obligations.
As of December 2001, Adelphia operated cable systems in 29 states, with approximately 5 million subscribers. The call was timed to occur before the filing of one of four required reports Adelphia submitted yearly to the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). Like many public companies, Adelphia previewed its report by issuing a press release announcing preliminary financial results and hosting a conference call with industry analysts. During the call, company officers gave context to press release statements, quoted numbers on company operations and finances, and answered analyst queries. While only analysts linked to the call could pose questions, any member of the public could listen in, and many small investors did so. Chief Financial Officer Timothy J. Rigas and Vice President of Finance James R. Brown hosted the call from Adelphia’s headquarters in Coudersport, Pennsylvania.
After outlining the company’s results and announcing its plans for expansion, Tim Rigas and Jim Brown took questions from the analysts. About an hour into the call, Brown asked for one or two final questions. Merrill Lynch analyst Oren Cohen responded. Cohen’s question was brief: Could the officers explain Footnote 6 of the press release, the one mentioning the company’s liability for a $5 billion line of credit?
Following Enron’s collapse six months earlier, off-balance-sheet entities invited new scrutiny in the financial world. SEC rules now required public companies to disclose such information—hence Footnote 6.
Footnote 6 described Adelphia’s liabilities related to $5 billion co-borrowing arrangements that listed Adelphia subsidiaries and Rigas family-owned entities as beneficiaries. The set-up was similar to a joint credit card account, with an Adelphia subsidiary getting a credit card and a Rigas-owned entity getting a card. Each “card” or, in this case, line of credit, was tied to the same account and could be charged up to the credit limit, and both parties were responsible for the bill. The problem was that, while key financial information for Adelphia was public knowledge, the finances of privately held Rigas entities were not. Analysts lacked data to judge the accuracy of the claim in Footnote 6 that Adelphia did not “expect that it [would] need to re-pay the amounts borrowed” by Rigas entities.
Jim Brown failed to answer the question, instead describing how the money was spent. Then Tim Rigas stepped in with a discussion of cash flow, ending with: “We have … a very strong ability to, kind of, repay.” It was the wrong answer to a $5 billion question. Adelphia’s stock lost more than a quarter of its value in the hours following the conference call. Less than three months later, the company was in bankruptcy.
U.S. Postal Inspectors: Investigators of Choice Shortly after the call, AUSA Richard Owens, Chief of the Securities Unit in the Southern District of New York, dropped a newspaper article on AUSA Tim Coleman’s desk. The article described the conference call’s effect on Adelphia’s stock price.
Owens saw the possibility of a criminal fraud case with a nexus to New York—Adelphia’s stock traded there, and the banks that funded its co-borrowing deals were there as well. Coleman was a natural selection to head an investigation of Adelphia, having handled legal matters related to cable television companies while in private practice.
Coleman turned to Postal Inspectors as the investigators of choice for corporate fraud. He called Inspector John G. Feiter, Fraud Team Leader at the New York Division’s Church Street Domicile. Inspector Feiter assigned Inspector Pankaj Sharma to the case. Though Sharma had been with the Inspection Service less than a year, his previous work as a lawyer in private practice made him a good match for what would undoubtedly be a complex investigation.
At first, Inspector Sharma found the Adelphia case no different from other fraud investigations. He identified and located witnesses, conducted interviews, wrote Memoranda of Interview, served subpoenas, and organized the reams of paperwork resulting from responses to the subpoenas. But the media scrutiny generated by a high-profile corporate investigation was new to the Inspector.
Every step of the investigation was reported by local and national news outlets. While reading daily news accounts, Sharma happened on an article in the Los Angeles Times, which stated, “In the old principal’s office, where [John] Rigas’ secretaries sit, a paper shredder whirled amid gallows humor.” Sharma immediately set up interviews with the two employees who sat near the shredder.
“The old principal’s office” was, in fact, the former office of the principal of Coudersport (pronounced “COW-ders-port”) High School. Adelphia had purchased the school for conversion to office space. Located in rural Potter County, Coudersport was home to 2,600 inhabitants.
Adelphia was in Coudersport because that’s where John J. Rigas founded it. After serving in Europe during World War II, John attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
When the young engineer accepted a job with electronics manufacturer Sylvania, his commute took him through Coudersport. Rigas bought the local cable television franchise there in 1953 and, with his brother Gus, founded Adelphia—which takes its name from the Greek word for “brothers.” By the 1990s, John, wife Doris, and sons Michael, Timothy, and James lived in Coudersport. Each son held a position at Adelphia. In 2001, Coudersport resident John Rigas was inducted into the Cable Television Hall of Fame.
Inspectors and Regulators and AUSAs The investigation grew, and Inspector Feiter added a more senior fraud Inspector to the case, Thomas F. Feeney. Once prosecution became likely, AUSA Owens assigned AUSA Christopher J. Clark to assist Coleman. As the nation’s securities regulator, the SEC began a civil investigation of Adelphia at the same time as the criminal case. Criminal and civil investigations that address the same set of facts and concern the same group of witnesses are often referred to as parallel investigations because, though related, they remain separate and are resolved in different forums. Postal Inspectors interviewed nearly 30 witnesses in three months. Included were Adelphia’s general counsel, independent auditors, and members of its board of directors. Financial analysts who covered Adelphia’s equity and debt offerings and bankers who structured Adelphia’s debt were consulted. Analyst Oren Cohen and others from the March 27 conference call were debriefed. By early June, six senior managers of Adelphia, including the assistant treasurer, director of accounting, and director of investor relations, had been interviewed. AUSAs Coleman and Clark negotiated cooperation or non-prosecution agreements for five of the six. The investigation now focused on John Rigas, Tim Rigas, Michael Rigas, Jim Brown, and Michael Mulcahey. John Rigas, Adelphia’s 77-year-old founder, still served as president and CEO in July 2002, but it was understood his son Tim was in charge of daily operations. Find Them, Follow Them, Arrest Them Tim was Adelphia’s executive vice president, chief financial officer, chief accounting officer, and treasurer. He joined the family business after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. John’s eldest son, Michael, graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School before joining Adelphia. He served as executive vice president for operations and oversaw improvements in Adelphia’s cable systems. Tim’s right-hand man, Jim Brown, was Adelphia’s vice president of finance. Brown took a job with Adelphia following graduation from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute—John Rigas’ alma mater. Michael C. Mulcahey left the Syracuse office of Coopers & Lybrand to become Adelphia’s director of investor relations in 1991 and, 11 years later, was director of internal reporting. By mid-July, prosecutors were drafting a criminal complaint against the five. Word arrived that Adelphia’s Deputy General Counsel had resigned. On short notice, Inspectors Sharma and Feeney traveled to Coudersport to interview him. While in the area, they finalized their arrest plans. On July 23, 2002, as the complaint was being reviewed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, New York Division Inspectors began an around-the-clock surveillance of the three Rigas defendants, who were in New York to attend business meetings. Inspectors Ralph Nardo, Yui Chow, and Sara Levinson tracked John and Michael Rigas across the George Washington Bridge. Inspectors Eleanor Berry and Rich Gutierrez tailed Tim Rigas to Grand Central Station and followed him onto a commuter train. Philadelphia Division Postal Inspectors joined the Church Street Fraud Team in Potter County. They began a surveillance of defendants’ homes and prepared to execute the arrests. Inspectors Thomas Boyle and David Bannan, accompanied by Public Information Officer Debra Whyte, traveled to the Williamsport courthouse to handle anticipated media attention. Inspector Feeney swore to a 61-page criminal complaint that afternoon, which detailed the criminal scheme and charged the defendants with wire fraud, bank fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy. While mail fraud charges were an early option, they were quickly supplanted by stronger counts of bank and securities fraud. The defendants allegedly failed to disclose billions of dollars in off-balance-sheet debt for which Adelphia was liable, inflated Adelphia’s operational and financial statistics, and used Adelphia assets—including cash, real estate, and corporate jets—for their personal benefit. One count accused the Rigases of using Adelphia funds to repay $250 million worth of margin loans. Investigations of large businesses invariably attract a slew of investigative agencies. In part due to its corporate fraud status in a post-Enron world, and in part due to Adelphia’s huge subscriber base, media interest was high. Despite offers of assistance from numerous criminal investigative agencies, including the FBI, U.S. Attorney James B. Comey chose to work exclusively with the Postal Inspection Service. Agreeing with the advice of AUSAs Owens and Coleman, Comey registered his vote of confidence in the Inspection Service by politely declining requests for inclusion, some of which were repeated as it became evident arrests were in the offing. The surveillances continued, with Inspectors following Tim Rigas to a Greenwich, Connecticut, repair shop where he picked up his car and drove back to New York. Inspectors tracked John and Michael Rigas’ car on Interstate 80 and across New Jersey. When they made a Uturn and headed back to New York, Postal Inspectors did too. Bill Hessle and Lou LaFleur, among other Inspectors, kept watch outside a Manhattan apartment building throughout the night to ensure the defendants would be around when the time came for their arrests. Shortly after six o’clock on the morning of July 24, Postal Inspectors entered the Rigas’ apartment and arrested John, Tim, and Michael. In Port Allegany, Pennsylvania, Inspectors took Mulcahey into custody. Inspectors knocked on the door of Jim Brown’s Coudersport home that morning and were surprised when Brown, dressed in khaki pants and a polo shirt, answered the door mid-knock and informed Inspectors he had his passport and was ready to accompany them to jail. Four hours later, Inspector in Charge of the New York Division William E. Kezer and Deputy Attorney General of the United States Larry D. Thompson announced the arrests at a Washington, DC, press conference. The event became a historic one for the Postal Inspection Service, when Thompson named Chief Postal Inspector Lee R. Heath to the Corporate Fraud Task Force, created by Executive Order of President George W. Bush 15 days earlier. Following the Director of the FBI, Chief Heath became the second head of a criminal investigative agency assigned to the President’s Corporate Fraud Task Force. The stock market responded quickly to news of the arrests. By the close of trading on July 24, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had jumped 488 points, the second largest single-day increase in the history of the index. It was also the highest volume day ever on the New York Stock Exchange. By the closing bell, more than 2.8 billion shares had changed hands. The national media was on the story. From the Chicago Tribune’s banner headline, “Crackdown Sparks Rebound,” to the “Buy & Bust” headline in the New York Daily News, newspapers and magazines across the country ran articles on the arrests. Special-interest magazines, from Broadcast & Cable and Variety to People and—because of John’s purchase of the Buffalo Sabres professional hockey team— the Hockey News, also covered the events. References appeared in unlikely venues, including the National Enquirer. On the Tonight Show, Jay Leno joked about the “cable guy” being arrested by the “mailman.” Some reporters rushed to print without checking the facts and failed to recognize the Postal Inspection Service as the arresting agency. Time magazine credited the FBI, and Hockey Digest believed U.S. Marshals hauled in the Adelphia crew. Between the arrests and the indictment, Postal Inspectors continued their work, interviewing some 30 more witnesses and arranging for grand jury testimony. While preparing for the indictment of the five suspects, they pursued various leads, including allegations of financial improprieties at a former Adelphia subsidiary and of illegal transactions between Adelphia and two of its major suppliers. After hearing the testimony of various witnesses, from company pilots to financial analysts to Inspector Feeney, a grand jury indicted the five defendants in late September. Gearing Up for Trial When trial preparation began in earnest, in early autumn 2003, several things had changed. AUSA Tim Coleman was promoted to Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in Washington, DC. Inspector Sharma left the Adelphia investigation to pursue a $20 million investment fraud and blackmail case. Coleman was replaced by AUSA Owens, who joined Clark to lead the trial team. Owens recruited a third prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Judd C. Lawler, who had litigated and won a stay in Adelphia’s multi-district civil litigation. Two full-time paralegals, Margaret Lee and Jill Ottenberg, were brought in. Inspector Sharma was replaced by rookie Inspector Kurtis S. Roinestad. Finally, the government found its key trial witness, someone who had so far avoided being interviewed: Adelphia’s former Vice President of Finance Jim Brown. Trial preparation for Adelphia was routine—except for the scale of the work. Witnesses were interviewed, documents reviewed, and exhibits identified, marked, and organized. An early witness list for the prosecution named 53 people. Roughly six million pages had to be scanned by a contractor into a searchable Intranet database. By the start of trial, paralegals Lee and Ottenberg had prepared and turned over to the defense more than 10,000 exhibits. In January 2004, Inspector James Bachman went to Coudersport to preserve key digital evidence on defendants’ computers. Because not every witness could travel to New York, Inspectors and AUSAs from the trial team found themselves driving though a snowstorm to interview potential witnesses in Coudersport, and later flying to Washington, DC, to accommodate another witness’ schedule. Witness preparation, during which witnesses review documents and practice answering questions clearly, sometimes took place by phone. One witness working in Bosnia could only be contacted via pre-arranged, weekly phone calls. After Jim Brown decided to plead guilty, Inspectors and AUSAs spent hundreds of hours debriefing him about the 18 years he worked for Adelphia. Brown’s testimony lasted through the entire month of May 2004. Each of the 600 potential jurors summoned to the courthouse in late January completed a 26-page questionnaire, and Postal Inspectors evaluated every one. At the end of each of the four days of voir dire (“to speak the truth,” a process in which prospective jurors are questioned under oath to determine their suitability to serve as jurors), Inspectors sat with Owens, Clark, and Lawler to rank the candidates according to their perceived favorability to the prosecution. In response to the defense’s strategy of prolonged cross-examination, the prosecution witness list was pared down to fewer than 20. Nonetheless, the trial lasted 18 weeks. The jury heard testimony from more than 25 witnesses, including former and current Adelphia employees, a professional golfer, a financial analyst, an actress, a billionaire investor, a pilot, a securities lawyer, an amateur investor, and John Rigas’ personal accountant. There were eight former employees and seven Coudersport residents, one of whom was a high school classmate of Tim Rigas. Witnesses testified about the Rigas family’s use of company money for more than $50 million worth of cash advances, $1.6 billion in securities purchases, and the repayment of more than $250 million in margin loans. Jurors heard about the personal use of Adelphia’s corporate jets, John Rigas’ practice of drawing up to $1 million a month from the company, a $25 million purchase of timber rights on land across the street from John’s home, and funding used to construct a golf course on family land. Adelphia money also paid for Tim’s $700,000 membership at The Golf Club in South Carolina, his $125,000 membership at a Hilton Head golf course, and a $7,000 weekend golf trip to Pebble Beach. Among more than 1,000 exhibits entered into the trial record were charts of complex financial transactions and the records on which the charts were based. While reviewing the 95-page indictment and completing the 293 questions on a special verdict form, the jury asked to see about 100 exhibits and to be given at least 20 transcript excerpts. Paying the Price John and Tim Rigas were convicted on July 8, 2004, of conspiracy and on multiple counts of securities fraud and bank fraud. Former Assistant Treasurer Michael Mulcahey was acquitted of all charges. Michael Rigas was acquitted of some charges, but the jury deadlocked on others. After nine days, the Honorable Leonard B. Sand dismissed the jury and set a date for Michael’s securities fraud retrial in January 2006. In all trials, the prosecution team works long hours for long stretches. In this case, AUSAs Richard Owens, Christopher Clark, and Judd Lawler; paralegals Margaret Lee and Jill Ottenberg; and Inspectors Feeney and Roinestad— guided by Fraud Team Leader John Feiter—worked from October 2003 through July 2004. It can be difficult to quantify the work of a prosecutive team, but it can be compared to the cost of the defense. Defense lawyers spent more than $35 million on the case. On April 27, 2005, following months of negotiations led by AUSAs Owens and Clark, agreements between the Rigas family, Adelphia, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the SEC were executed. The Rigas family agreed to forfeit to the United States more than 95 percent of its family assets, including privately owned cable systems worth $700 to $900 million, all Adelphia securities owned by the Rigas family and its affiliated entities—such as notes with a face value of nearly $567 million and approximately 44.7 million shares of common stock—and real estate worth about $10 million. The forfeiture was larger than what might have been imposed by the trial court because it included cable companies, land, and assets owned jointly by other members of the Rigas family, not just property owned by felons John and Tim Rigas. The government agreed to return to Adelphia the Rigas family securities and to transfer to Adelphia the privately owned Rigas cable systems. Evidence introduced at trial proved the Rigas family never paid for a substantial portion of the Adelphia securities they held. In return for the cable systems, Adelphia will provide $715 million in cash and stock to a fund for victim shareholders. In April 2005, Adelphia’s former auditing firm, Deloitte & Touche, executed an agreement with the SEC to pay $50 million to settle civil charges that they should have detected the fraudulent bookkeeping at Adelphia. The settlement was the largest ever by an accounting firm and included a record penalty of $25 million. Deloitte, the country’s third-biggest accounting firm, neither admitted nor denied misconduct. The $50 million will be paid into the Adelphia victim fund. ‘Were it not for your age and health…’ In a packed Manhattan courtroom, Judge Sand sentenced John and Tim Rigas on June 20, 2005. The press corps filled the jury box to overflowing, while three sketch artists captured the proceedings for the benefit of a television audience. John Rigas failed to acknowledge his guilt. In remarks made prior to his sentencing, he instead apologized to Adelphia shareholders for “this whole thing [which] has happened to all of us” and added, “I may be convicted and sentenced, but in my heart and my conscience, I’ll go to my grave truly believing that I did nothing but try to improve conditions for my employees, for my company, and for my family.” “Were it not for your age and health, I would impose a sentence far greater than I do today,” Judge Sand told the 80-yearold founder of Adelphia before pronouncing a sentence of five years for the conspiracy charge, 10 years for each of 15 counts of securities fraud, and 15 years for each of two bank fraud charges. The sentencing structure calls for John Rigas to serve 15 years in prison. If after Rigas serves at least two years in prison his doctors determine he has less than three months to live, the director of the Bureau of Prisons can petition the court to allow him to die at home. The judge promised to give “careful and sympathetic consideration” to such a request. Tim Rigas, who claimed, “Our intentions were good. The results were not,” was sentenced to five years for conspiracy, 10 years for each of 15 counts of securities fraud, and 20 years for each of two bank fraud charges. Tim Rigas will serve 20 years in prison. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service was the sole criminal investigative agency assigned to the case. Photo: Prosecutive t4eam against Adelphia Communications Corporation Caption: (l to r) AUSA R. D. Owens, Paralegal Jill Ottenberg, AUSA C. J. Clark, Postal Inspector Kurt Roinestad, Paralegal Margaret Lee, and Postal Inspector Thomas Feeney formed an effective prosecutive team against Adelphia Communications Corporation. Photos: Collage of newspaper articles about Adelphia the arrest of Adelphia founder and 2 sons. Chart: Adelphia Communications Corp. Stock Price & Volume, March 25, 2002 to June 7, 2002. March 27: Adelphia Announces $2.3 Billion in “Off-Balance Sheet” Debt. April 1: Adelphia Delays Filing of Form 10-K. April 3: Adelphia confirms SEC Informal Inquiry April 15: Adelphia Announces that Continuing Review of Financial Statements Will Not Result in Material Changes to Historical Filings May 2: Adelphia Announces Likely Restatement May 15: Adelphia Announces Special Investigation, J. Rigas Resigns, and Deloitte & Touche Suspends Audit May 15-22: Other Rigases and Brown Resign June 3: Adelphia Stock Delisted From NASDAQ Photo: Chief Postal Inspector Heath Presents Awards to AUSAs for Adelphia Case Caption: Postal Inspectors working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York arrested the founder and executive officers of Adelphia Communications Corporation in July 2002 for massive corporate fraud. Adelphia officers took funds from the corporation by disguising personal loans as corporate loans, then failed to disclose their actions to regulators and shareholders. Adelphia shareholders lost more than $252 million in what was revealed as the biggest corporate fraud of its time and which illuminated the shady business dealings of other corporate entities throughout the United States. On March 23, 2005, Chief Postal Inspector Lee R. Heath presented the highest award offered by the Postal Inspection Service, the Chief Postal Inspector’s Award, to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Judd Lawler (back row, to the right of Chief Heath), Chris Clark (holding a plaque, at left), and Richard Owens (holding a plaque, at right) for their tireless efforts in prosecuting this especially complex case. U.S. Attorney Dave Kelly (far right) praised New York Division Postal Inspectors for their extensive work investigating the case and for helping to bring those responsible to justice. Photo: Postal Inspector Thomas F. Feeney Caption: About the author - Postal Inspector Thomas F. Feeney began his Inspection Service career in 1996 on the External Crimes Team in Manhattan. He moved to a fraud assignment at New York Division Headquarters and then to the Church Street Domicile’s Fraud Team, where he began working closely with Assistant U.S. Attorneys assigned to the Southern District of New York’s Commodities and Securities Fraud Unit. Inspector Feeney’s notable cases include the investigation of commercial bribery in the mortgage-backed securities industry, which resulted in the conviction of four suspects and served as the basis for SEC action against eight individuals and one firm; the fraudulent sale of an unregistered stock, which led to three convictions, a $4.2 million order of restitution, and media attention in the New York Times and several national magazines; and the first fraudulent Internet press release case to go to trial in the United States. Inspector Feeney received the Chief Postal Inspector’s Award for his role as case agent for the Adelphia Communications Corporation investigation. Postal Inspectors Use Team Approach to Keep Sexual Predators Out of the U.S. Mail By Postal Inspector Daniel L. Hennemann, Cincinnati Field Office, Pittsburgh Division Child pornography and the sexual exploitation of children are tragic, heart-rending crimes that plague law enforcement agencies worldwide. Those who abuse children and assume (incorrectly) that the U.S. Mail will provide a safe, reliable, and anonymous vehicle for exchanging illicit, pornographic material are aggressively targeted by U.S. Postal Inspectors, who are regarded internationally as leaders in the fight against child exploitation. The vast majority of child exploitation cases investigated by Postal Inspectors involve computers as well as postal violations. In FY 2004, Postal Inspectors arrested 329 suspects for child sexual exploitation offenses and reported 338 convictions in such cases (which may have originated in prior reporting periods). Incident to a search of a suspect’s property, Postal Inspectors may find evidence that the target of the investigation is also a child molester. As a result of Inspectors’ casework this past fiscal year, 97 child molesters were identified, and Inspectors rescued 229 child victims from further abuse and exploitation. U.S. Postal Inspectors work hard to preserve the public’s confidence in the mail. In part, they do this by ensuring the integrity of the mail—keeping illegal, dangerous, and potentially harmful items from the mailstream. If Inspectors find that a postal worker is committing a crime, such as stealing mail, embezzling postal funds, taking or distributing drugs on postal property, or in any way undermining the Postal Service, they advise postal managers of the problem, and appropriate steps are taken to penalize the employee or terminate employment. In 1977, the Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation Act became the first federal law specifically designed to protect children from commercialized sexual exploitation. In 1984, the Child Protection Act was passed to take the profit out of child pornography. Congress recognized that, to combat the sexual exploitation of children, the economic benefits had to be removed. In addition to being prosecuted, child pornographers could now be deprived of property and profits obtained as a result of their criminal acts. Postal Inspectors use these federal statutes in their child exploitation investigations, but also rely on state statutes, working in conjunction with local and state authorities. Postal Inspector and Child Exploitation Specialist Frank Graham of the St. Louis Division was trolling Internet newsgroups in early 2002 when a “big fish” bit: An online “chatter” was interested in buying child pornography. After exchanging a series of e-mails, Inspector Graham identified the suspect, Phillip C. Morris, as a Postal Service employee. Morris committed a federal felony when he ordered two tapes from Graham, believing he was buying videos depicting minor males engaging in explicit sexual activity. Because Morris lived in San Antonio, Texas, Graham acted quickly to enlist help from his counterpart there, Postal Inspector Bruce Beckham of the Houston Division. Inspector Beckham, other Inspectors from the Houston Division, and local police officers executed a controlled delivery and a search warrant at Morris’ home. They seized a computer and four Zip storage disks. Specialists from the Postal Inspection Service’s National Forensic Laboratory analyzed data from the computer and disks and found more than 30 images of young boys being sexually exploited by an adult male. Inspector Beckham turned to staff at the Child Victim Identification Project (CVIP), a part of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), for help. Postal Inspector Steve Lear joined the staff a little more than a year ago and works alongside four NCMEC analysts. CVIP staff receive some 40 disks of child pornography a week from law enforcement officers nationwide. The disks are seized during the execution of search warrants served on suspected child pornographers. When analysts at the Exploited Child Unit recognized two of the boys pictured on Morris’ disks from other child porn videos, a new clue emerged: The new photos showed the boys fully clothed, and background details provided the first clues as to where the abuse had occurred. CVIP analysts concluded the series of photos was an ideal candidate for Image Analysis. Image Analysis is a fairly new computer program used by CVIP staff to compare “questioned,” or unknown, images to known images. The known images are those of abused children who have been positively identified and whose photos have been scanned into the program. When analysts scan in new, unknown images, the program uses an “MD-5 Hash Value”—an algorithm of the mathematical components comprising a digitized image—to compare the new image to those in the database—currently numbering about 500 photos. An amazing feature of Image Analysis is that, as analysts continue to load new images into the program, the computer gets “smarter” by adding additional information (new hash values) to the database. There are tens of thousands of unidentified images of abused children. The analysts began an aggressive campaign to identify the young victims. They reviewed the images one by one and documented each clue. The first clue emerged when an analyst picked up an image of a sheriff ’s police cruiser in the background of one of the photos. After enhancing and enlarging the image, analysts traced the cruiser to the Pinellas County Sheriff ’s Department in Florida. The sheriff ’s office and a network of international contacts were alerted, while the analysts continued their hunt for more images of the boys. They hoped to find other photos, perhaps not as widely traded, that would yield new clues. In November 2003, a group calling themselves “Combating Pedophile Information Networks in Europe,” or COPINE, contacted analysts with promising news. The group had numerous photos of the two boys, some of them erotic, and photos depicting the sexual abuse of another underage boy. COPINE staff concluded that the abuse of the new, unidentified child had occurred in the same bedroom as the one in which the two boys had been photographed. More children were at risk than previously believed. The most important photo from COPINE showed the two boys, each in bathing suits, on a Yamaha WaveRunner, a personal watercraft device. A closer examination revealed that state registration numbers were visible on the tags. The tags were registered to a Florida man who lived in Hernando County, so investigators shifted their focus there in an attempt to ID the boys. A task force of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies teamed up on the investigation. Postal Inspector Linda Walker from the Miami Division joined Special Agent Mike Jackson from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as well as members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Office of the Statewide Prosecutor of Florida in Pinellas County, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Department, and the Polk County Sheriff’s Department. Task force members spoke with school resource officers (SROs) in Hernando County. SROs are officials from law enforcement agencies assigned to act as law-related counselors or educators for a school or school system in their area. The tactic worked: In early March 2004, they found an SRO at a high school who recognized the two boys. The counselor told authorities the boys were brothers who lived with their mother. He knew they were close to a man who acted as their mentor. Team members obtained current photos of the children from the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles and confirmed they were the ones who appeared in the abusive images. On March 4, 2004, the boys were brought in for an interview at the local sheriff’s office. They had no problem naming their “friend”: Christopher M. Rodriguez. They had met Rodriguez through a child who lived next door to them. It was Rodriguez who had taken the pictures of the boys on the WaveRunner. The owner of the watercraft had no role in the abuse. When the boys were shown the photo of the other, unknown child, in the same bedroom where Rodriquez had attacked them, they recognized him immediately. Both shocked and angered on discovering that their abuser had harmed yet another child, they immediately gave investigators the boy’s name. The task force mobilized to secure a search warrant for the suspect’s home and computers. One of the boys offered to help by placing a controlled call to Rodriguez. In a recorded conversation, Rodriguez confirmed that he had been producing illegal, pornographic pictures of the boys. Task force members executed a consent search at the home of Christopher Rodriguez in Hernando County later that day. During the course of the search, Rodriquez agreed to be interviewed. Rodriguez confessed he had photographed the three boys and distributed their images over the Internet. Team members seized his computer and data storage devices for forensic examination. They also seized some videotapes which contained even more evidence: Rodriquez had been molesting other children as well. There were now seven abused boys in Florida alone. Worse, Rodriguez admitted he had recently traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio, for the express purpose of pursuing sex with underage boys. By the time Inspectors and investigators arrested Rodriguez, it was in the early morning hours of March 5. He was taken before a federal magistrate, who refused to set bail. Postal Inspector Linda Walker and her colleagues were quick to nail Cincinnati resident Daniel Ostenkamp as Rodriguez’ “friend”—and another source of child pornography. She put in a call to Inspector Martin E. Arthur at the Cincinnati Field Office of the Pittsburgh Division for more information. Inspectors and other task force members arrested Daniel Ostenkamp at his place of employment and, simultaneously, executed a search warrant at his parent’s home where he resided. They seized four computers, assorted computer storage devices, sexually explicit artwork of young males, and an anatomically correct, lifesized sex doll of a male teenager. Ostenkamp admitted he had been having a sexual relationship with his now- 15-year-old nephew over the past three years. He had photographed sexual liaisons not only with his nephew, but also with his nephew’s friends from school, and had traded the pictures with Rodriguez. Four more young victims were identified. The case initiated by Inspector Graham in St. Louis, Missouri, more than two years earlier had ballooned into three successful child exploitation investigations in three states involving more than 13 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Most important, 13 children who had experienced the torment of sexual exploitation no longer had to live in fear of their adult abusers. A federal grand jury in the Western District of Texas returned a three-count indictment against now-former postal employee Phillip C. Morris for receiving and possessing child pornography. He was arrested on November 24, 2003, and ultimately pled guilty to all charges against him. On April 14, 2004, Morris was sentenced to 41 months in prison. Christopher M. Rodriguez was indicted in the Middle District of Florida in April 2004 on seven counts of producing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. Rodriguez also pled guilty to all counts. He was sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison. Daniel A. Ostenkamp was indicted in Hamilton County, Ohio, in April 2004 on 11 counts of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor and eight counts of raping a minor. He pled guilty to all 19 counts and was sentenced in May to serve five years on each of the 11 counts and 10 years on each of the eight counts of raping a minor. Ostenkamp will serve the 19 sentences consecutively, for a total of 135 years in prison. Photo: Postal Inspector Linda Walker Caption: Postal Inspector Linda Walker was the case agent who led the investigation against Ostencamp and his cohorts. Photo: Child pornographer Christopher Rodriguez Caption: Child pornographer Christopher Rodriguez will spend 22 years in prison for his crimes. Pullquote: “What this case shows is how much more we can accomplish, and with a very high degree of success, when we leverage the resources of local, state, and federal agencies to reach a common goal—in this case, saving children from sexual abuse. When Postal Inspectors rid the mail of child pornography, we’re benefiting society as a whole. We’re keeping the mail safe for all Americans, of every age.” —Postal Inspector Daniel L. Hennemann Inspectors Investigate Yellow Pages Scam More Than 10,000 Businesses Lose More Than $10 Million to Mail Fraud By Postal Inspector Jessica Hood, Atlanta Division U.S. Postal Inspectors from Atlanta and Miami, and agents from the Miami office of the U.S. Secret Service, executed three search warrants in June 2005 in connection with a false-representation scheme. Two search warrants were served at suites 201 and 203 on 611 Lincoln Road, and another at 1880 West Avenue, a storage facility that housed customer invoices. All locations were rented by Yellow Pages Directory Publishers and Charles Robert Smith. The case began when Postal Inspector Jessica Hood of the Atlanta Division responded to a complaint from a church pastor in Hazlehurst, Georgia. The pastor informed Inspectors that he was suspicious of a Yellow Pages invoice he’d received. When he checked the phone number and address on the invoice, he discovered that the company wasn’t affiliated with Bellsouth, parent company of “the real Yellow Pages” in his area, where he normally placed ads. Instead of mailing in his payment, he notified Postal Inspectors. Inspector Hood tracked down the address on the pastor’s invoice and determined it was a commercial mail receiving agency (CMRA). The CMRA had been instructed to forward all mail for that box rental to the Lincoln Road address. After further footwork, Hood found that, since October 2003, Andrew Miller, who was listed as the President of Yellow Pages Directory Publishers, had been mailing solicitations to hundreds of businesses— including a number of churches—that were regular customers of local (and “real”) Yellow Pages Directories in their areas. Respondents received an invoice requesting they mail $293 to one of five boxes rented by Miller at CMRAs in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Chicago. Most victim businesses failed to look closely at the familiar-looking Yellow Pages invoice. If they had, they might have noticed that, in very small print, they were advised that their $293 check would cover only a half year of ad placement and that another $293 would be automatically debited from their accounts. Worse, “late” payments were tacked on if the checks weren’t received on time. During the execution of the search warrants, Hood and other Inspectors found that Andrew Miller, along with Charles Robert Smith, co-owned the Yellow Pages Directory Publishers. The two men did, in fact, publish a Yellow Pages directory. The difference in their directory from the real Yellow Pages was that their book covered the entire country and was distributed only to businesses that paid to place their ads in it. Also, their customers were told they’d get a free listing on the company’s Web site. That would have been a good deal—except that Miller and Smith didn’t have a Web site. Inspectors and agents seized overseas wire-transfer receipts dating from January 2005 and showing that Yellow Pages Directory Publishers had wired $3.1 million to a Swiss bank account. Because the money could be traced to victims of Miller’s scheme, the Swiss government placed a temporary freeze on the account at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs. The total dollar amount in the account has not yet been determined, but one employee agreed to turn over approximately $60,000 in gold coins that had been purchased with some of the proceeds. Other items recovered during the search included computers, a computer server, customer invoices and checks, bank records, and overseas wire-transfer receipts for financial institutions in Africa. Andrew Miller is a South African citizen, and Charles Smith, a U.S. citizen, resides in Tanzania. Seizure warrants were signed in the Northern District of Georgia on June 29, 2005, for four bank accounts belonging to Yellow Pages Directory Publishers and Andrew Miller. Money in those accounts totaled about $1.4 million. More than 10,000 victims lost an estimated $10 million to the scam. Temporary Restraining Orders were signed on all of the CMRA rental boxes, and criminal prosecution is pending against several suspects—including Andrew Miller and Charles Smith— all connected to the Yellow Pages scam. During the search, Inspectors and agents also found documents indicating that Charles Robert Smith was trying to liquidate funds in a brokerage account and several other bank accounts by purchasing one-ounce gold coins from dealers across the United States. Charles Smith had also recently placed a $42,000 deposit on a $1.2 million jet from Epic Air in Las Vegas, Nevada. Inspectors used information from the documents to obtain seizure warrants for the following items: - $323,793 from a brokerage account at Investscape. - 690 one-ounce American Eagle gold coins valued at $293,940. - 545 one-ounce Austrian Philharmonic gold coins valued at $228,900. - $42,000 down payment for the purchase of the jet, which had been converted into $30,000 worth of airplane parts and $12,000 in cash. In July 2005, the Postal Inspection Service’s Atlanta Division received a check from Bank of America for roughly $1.3 million in response to a seizure warrant for one of three accounts belonging to Yellow Page Directory Publishers and Andrew Miller. A total of about $1.26 million was seized from the three accounts at Bank of America and another $18,600 from a Card-Services International Merchant account. The funds represent money seized by Inspectors and agents prior to the execution of the June search warrants at Miami Beach. As Postal Inspectors continued their investigation, they discovered that Charles Robert Smith was the main instigator of the Yellow Pages scam. In fact, Smith had been the subject of several fraud investigations by Inspectors beginning in the late 1980s, all involving fraudulent Yellow Pages solicitations. An arrest warrant was issued for Charles Smith, but Inspectors believe he fled the country and is likely traveling in Europe under an assumed identity. Several others who took part in the scheme have yet to be indicted, but prosecution is pending. Postal Inspector Jessica Hood stated, “All businesses need to take the time to carefully review any solicitations and invoices they get in the mail before paying them. That simple step would reduce a lot of fraud, and take a lot of people off of our victim lists.” Photo: Team Gold Digger Caption: Team Gold Digger of the Postal Inspection Service’s Atlanta Division seized an estimated $600,000 worth of gold coins from Yellow Pages Directory Publishers after determining the business fraudulently represented itself as the “real Yellow Pages.” Front row seated (l to r): Forfeiture Specialist Rhonda Williams and Postal Inspector Jessica Hood. Standing (l to r): Inspectors Frank Stewart, Jeff Adkins, Kellye Winston, Eric George, and Clinton Potter. Image: Wanted poster of Charles Robert Smith Photo: Postal Inspector Jessica Hood Caption: Postal Inspector Jessica Hood has been assigned to the Fraud Team at the Atlanta Division since completing training in December 2004. She specializes in Internet fraud, specifically eBay fraud. Inspector Hood was in the first group of Postal Inspectors deployed to Mississippi the day after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. During her seven days there, Hood helped provide security at sites that delivered government checks to victims of Katrina and traveled to several towns around the state to assess damage to postal facilities and provide protection until sites could be secured. Serving America with Pride An update to the October 2003 Bulletin story. Employees of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Serving in the Reserves and the National Guard. As the war in Iraq continues, the Postal Inspection Service wishes to take this opportunity to honor its employees who, in addition to their commitment to their Inspection Service jobs, are serving with one of the branches of the U.S. military reserves or National Guard. Approximately 19 Postal Inspection Service employees have served, or are still serving, on active duty with the reserves since we first featured them in the October 2003 Bulletin. Following are the responses we received on employees’ experiences. Atlanta Division Postal Inspector Robert B. Wemyss, Mobile, AL, Domicile, was on active duty for a two-week period at Camp Parks in Dublin, CA. His duties included assisting with the training of reserve units who had recently been activated for deployment to Iraq. He served as a 1st Lieutenant with the Military Police. Inspector Wemyss previously served on active duty from May 1995 through May 1998, and was then part of the Individual Ready Reserve from May 1998 to January 2003. He was called back to active reserve duty in January 2003 and spent two weeks on active duty during the summer of 2003. He completed his commitment and left the military in December 2003. Charlotte Division Postal Inspector Frank Charlonis is a prohibited mail-narcotics specialist in Charlotte, NC, who has been on active duty since 2004 as a Lieutenant Colonel with the U.S. Marine Corp Reserves. He is now overseas working as the Liaison Officer for the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Special Operations Capable (SOC) under the Commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. Frank sent this e-mail to his co-workers in Charlotte: “I work primarily out of our Headquarters in Bahrain, but my duties take me into all of the countries in the region, including Iraq, Kuwait, and Qatar. I advise staff on the proper employment of the 26th MEU (SOC) while under their command. I act as ‘the voice’ of my commanding officer at this unit, as I represent the commanding officer and speak for him on operational, logistic, and other matters. It is similar to the work I do as an Inspector, developing relationships with staff members and supporting units to ensure they understand our mission and we understand theirs. My success as an Inspector depends on developing good working relationships and being an honest ‘broker’ for the command I represent. I explain what we can and cannot do and provide operational assists as needed. I must advocate the position of my higher headquarters command at all times. So far I’ve been involved with operational planning for several major exercises and am working on operational plans in support of the Global War on Terrorism. I have leveraged experience from the Inspection Service and my military career to serve as an advisor to ‘consequence management’ planners here. In Qatar, I assisted in the development of a new standard operating practice for the Qatari Armed Forces, Ministry of Interior. The photo of me was taken somewhere in the Kuwaiti desert.” Frank’s friends and colleagues in Charlotte report that they are thinking of him and are grateful for his service to our country. Fredrick W. Hosenfeld is a Technical Surveillance Specialist with the Postal Inspection Service, but was called to active duty on April 1, 2003, to serve as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force Reserves as a Command and Control Operations Officer. He was released from duty on March 1, 2004. Fred was stationed at the Charleston Air Force Base as a Stage Operations Officer. From there he went to Headquarters at the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois and worked at the Mission Support Center for the Tanker Air Lift Control Elements in the field. He has 20 years of service in the Air Force Reserves and is looking forward to many more. Chicago Division Postal Inspector Andrew Kovats is serving as Company Commander of Combat Engineers. He was originally based in Laporte, IN, but is now serving in Tal Afar, Iraq. He is the Task Force Engineer for the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. Inspector Kovats reports that his duties include organizing engineers in his regiment to support combat operations in Tal Afar. They dismount patrols in and around the city, cordon off restricted areas, conduct searches, and stage interdictions at roads known to be used by terrorists. In addition, he and his troops set up flash traffic- control points (where they stop and check all vehicles), establish combat outposts, train the Iraqi Army on vehicle-search techniques, and conduct counter-improvised explosive device (IED) patrols on main supply routes. Kovats says, “To date, my men have captured a high-value target during a major combat operation in northern Tal Afar. The photo shows me with an Iraqi soldier during the elections. It depicts the primary mission of all American soldiers: to help ‘stand up’ the Iraqi Army. The photo was taken at a traffic-control point.” Postal Police Officer Bryant D. Boozer began active duty with the U.S. Army Reserve on October 3, 2001. He has served two tours of duty in Iraq and is currently stationed in Illinois. PPO Boozer attained the rank of Sergeant E-5 and is assigned as an Aircraft Powertrain Repairman. Postal Inspector Robert M. Kugach, Carol Stream, IL, Domicile, was called to serve active duty as a Naval Reservist for Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He reported on March 5, 2003, as an Intelligence Officer (Ensign) for the U.S. Navy. Inspector Kugach served at the U.S. Commander- in-Chief, Europe, Joint Analysis Center Detachment at Ft. Sheridan, IL. His duties included Air Defense Analyst and the European Command Area of Responsibility. He produced air defense intelligence products in support of Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom, and was the Command Fitness Leader for the detachment, providing fitness-training exercises and fitness education to mobilized members. He returned to work at the Carol Stream Domicile on June 2, 2003. Inspector Kugach noted: “In a ceremony held on April 12, 2003, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service was recognized for its support of my service in the Reserves when Congressman Mark Kirk presented the agency with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition.” Detroit Division Postal Inspector Cecil A. Frink, Gary, IN, Domicile, works on a multi-functional team that handles miscellaneous assignments. He was called to serve active duty with the Indiana National Guard in June 2004 and was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) of the 76th Separate Infantry Brigade at the rank of Major. Inspector Frink’s duties as the brigade’s S-1 (Administrative) and S-3 (Operations) officer include tasks related to administrative affairs and operational planning. The unit was deployed to Afghanistan to assist the Afghan National Army as an Imbedded Training Team (ANAITT). Members of Major Frink’s unit train and observe the ANA in its fight against terrorism. Inspector Frink hopes to be back at the Gary Domicile by October 2005. Postal Inspector Kenny Miller, Indianapolis, IN, Domicile, is on a multi-functional team that handles financial crimes at his domicile. As part of the U.S. Army Reserves at Camp Victory in Iraq, he is Chief Postal Operations Officer for the Multi- National Corps-Iraq (MNC-I). He wore a second hat as the C-1 Liaison Officer responsible for managing multinational force postal operations, including mail operations for coalition service members and civilians, managing postal platoons and postal headquarters, planning postal-unit movements in Iraq, and monitoring mail volume to Army Post Offices in Iraq. He also served as a postal technical expert for postal units, obtaining accurate information in response to postal and White House inquiries for Iraq, and establishing and publishing standard operating procedures for the postal mission. Inspector Miller was awarded the Bronze Star for his service. He was deployed in December 2003 and returned to the Postal Inspection Service in April 2005. Ft. Worth Division Postal Inspector J. Eric Doyle, San Antonio, TX, Domicile, worked miscellaneous external crimes cases prior to his deployment to Iraq. He is now serving as Chief Warrant Officer II in the U.S. Army Reserve. Inspector Doyle is leader of the five-person Tactical Human Intelligence Team (THT), which collects actionable intelligence for the commander through the use of sources. Team members target insurgency and terrorist groups operating in Iraq. An e-mail from Inspector Doyle reports: “I have met a lot of good people here in Iraq. The majority of them are thankful for what America has done for their country and don’t want us to leave. They love their new freedom and democracy. Despite what you may see on the news, it isn’t all bad here. Most of the problems are caused by a small minority of people, and we are doing all we can to make that number smaller everyday. My time here has made me really appreciate what I have at home. I could not have made it through this without the support of my wonderful wife, family, and friends. I also want to thank everyone in the Inspection Service for their support. The e-mails, letters, and packages let me know that I have not been forgotten. The Inspection Service truly is a family, and they have taken care of me accordingly. I can’t wait to get back. I have received a lot of letters and packages from total strangers who just wanted to show their support. One last thing, it is HOT here.” Los Angeles Division Postal Inspector Travis A. Bartelson has been serving active duty as a Judge Advocate with the U.S. Marine Corps in the Judge Advocate Group (JAG) since January 2004 and is stationed in Iraq. Inspector Bartelson sent us this photo from his tour, asking “Do you see a likeness?” Postal Inspector David F. d’Artenay, San Diego, CA, Domicile, was on active duty from June 27, 2003, through October 27, 2003, serving as a chief petty officer with the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. His unit was the Harbor Defense Command, made up of 50 personnel, two-thirds of whom were U.S. Navy, and one-third U.S. Coast Guard personnel. Their mission was to provide a command and control structure in a foreign port near a conflict involving the U.S. Military. In August 2003, his unit was deployed to Kuwait and set up operations in the largest port in Kuwait. Their main responsibility was providing security with other subordinate U.S. units as foreign and U.S. ships loaded and offloaded munitions and supplies for the Iraq conflict. His unit returned to the Imperial Beach, CA, headquarters in March 2004. He did not deploy in August due to an asthma condition and the poor air quality in Kuwait, but instead remained at headquarters and provided support needs from stateside operations. Miami Division Postal Police Officer DeShan Bowers is serving as a Sergeant First-Class with the U.S. Army Military Police. He was called to serve active duty as part of Operation Enduring Freedom on December 14, 2002, through April 24, 2004. During this time he served with the 724th Military Police Battalion in Iraq. Upon his return in April 2004, his activation period was extended and he was assigned to a military intelligence unit in Washington, DC. He was scheduled to return to his Inspection Service job in September 2005, but was advised that his activation period would probably be extended again for another six months. Postal Inspector Johnny D. Niedzwiedzki is a member of the Miscellaneous Team at the West Palm Beach Domicile. He was assigned to serve as a Major with the 429th Medical Battalion (Evacuation) at Camp Speicher, Iraq, as part of a headquarters element managing air and ground ambulances. In November 2003, John returned to Ft. Rucker, AL, for refresher training as a pilot of an Army medevac Blackhawk (UH-60) helicopter. He was then called to active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II on December 7, 2003. He also served as a medevac pilot from 1990 through 1991 during Desert Shield/Desert Storm flying UH-1 Iroquois (Hueys). On April 19, 2004, while coordinating medical support during a Muslim holy pilgrimage, John reported via e-mail: “I spent some time in Karbala, the heart of (Moqtada) Sadr’s city of hit men. Very interesting story all around. Rode into town in an armored personnel carrier fully decked out. The base camp I was at felt like the Alamo, it seemed as if it could be overrun any minute. I finally finished my mission and was able to get back to normal operations.” At Camp Speicher, Captain Niedzwiedzki reported, “For the most part, I am in an ops cell, keeping my finger on the pulse of the medical mission. Camp Speicher is named after Navy pilot Lieutenant Commander Michael ‘Scott’ Speicher, who was shot down while flying a combat mission over western Iraq on the first night of Operation Desert Storm. It’s where the 429th Medical Battalion managed all medical evacuations for the Army in Iraq.” In November 2004, Captain Niedzwiedzki reported he was piloting his aircraft northwest of Baghdad when his crew announced they were taking enemy fire. Captain Niedzwiedzki performed various evasive maneuvers attempting to free his unarmed helicopter from the kill zone created by multiple points of insurgent fire. The aircraft sustained more than 80 piercings from insurgent rounds and damaged multiple systems, forcing him to bring the aircraft down. Fortunately, the aircraft’s systems survived long enough to land without incident at a coalition airfield. Captain Niedzwiedzki was awarded the Air Medal with Valor for his actions in saving eight other souls, as well as the aircraft, that day. Inspector Niedzwiedzki completed his 15 months of active duty in February 2005. National Headquarters Postal Police Officer Mauricio F. Atherly is a member of the Internal Affairs Division at National Headquarters. He was called to serve active duty as a Staff Sergeant with the 323rd Military Intelligence Battalion at Ft. Meade, MD, from January 23, 2003, through May 2004. He served in Iraq at Camp Slayer as a member of the Iraqi Survey Group and was the night shift supervisor for the Document Exploitation Center. His duties involved scanning all documents confiscated during military raids, which resulted in numerous successful operations. New Jersey/Caribbean Division Postal Inspector Steven Nardoni of the San Juan Field Office was called to serve active duty at the rank of Captain with the U.S. Army National Guard from January 2003 through February 2005. He was assigned as an Interrogation Control Element Officer with the Joint Interrogation Group at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Inspector Nardoni was also a Military Intelligence Officer. Pittsburgh Division Postal Inspector Karen O’Neill, Cincinnati, OH, Field Office, was called to serve active duty from January through May 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Karen is a Captain with the 121st Air Refueling Wing, Ohio Air National Guard. She was deployed to Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq, where she worked for the Multi-National Corps–Iraq. She was the Public Affairs Liaison Officer in the Joint Operation Center, where she worked beside military members of all branches and countries serving in Iraq. During her deployment, Karen regularly called in to the Q102 Radio morning show in Cincinnati to report on her experiences in Iraq. Because of her participation, the radio station and the Tri-State Girl Scouts (of Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky) sponsored a cookie drive for the troops. They later mailed Inspector O’Neill more than 5,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to distribute to the troops in Baghdad. As a thank-you gesture when she returned home, Karen and Q102 presented the Girl Scouts with a special badge for their hard work collecting donations for the cookies and the postage. St. Louis Division Postal Inspector Samuel N. Owens, Des Moines, IA, Domicile, reported to active duty in Afghanistan as a Lieutenant Colonel with the Afghan National Army in April 2005. He was assigned as an Embedded Trainer for Intelligence and Operations, and his primary mission was to mentor, coach, and train Afghan National Army soldiers in intelligence processing and collection, and operations training management. Sam initially reported to Camp Shelby in Mississippi for Mobilization Training before heading to Afghanistan. The training including sessions in Cultural Awareness, Language, Weapons Proficiency (M9 Pistol and M4 Carbine), Small Unit Tactics, Improvised Explosive Device Recognition, and Physical Training. His tour is expected to end in August 2006, and he hopes to be home for mid-tour leave between December 2005 and February 2006. In August 2005, Inspector Owens sent this e-mail update: “I’m currently stationed at Camp Julian, which is a Canadian Forward Operations Base just outside of the Afghan capital, Kabul. I’m awaiting orders to head east to provide assistance during the Afghan parliamentary elections. Training Afghan soldiers has proven to be more challenging than anticipated. Fortunately for them, I’m a fairly patient fellow. Hard to believe I’ve got almost two months down and 10 to go. When asked if he could provide a photo from his period of service, Inspector Owens replied, “Unfortunately my digital camera fell out of the helicopter and was lost.” I asked if he went by “Sam” or “Samuel,” and he e-mailed back, “I’ll pretty much answer to Owens, 607, Laser, or Sam on occasion. We’re pretty close to jetting off to the Badlands so I’ll see what I can do about another photo.” His colleagues at the Des Moines Domicile sent this e-mail when Sam took off, “I know we’re going to miss him here in Des Moines, and our thoughts and prayers will be with him and his family. While he’s there—he should go ahead and find Bin Laden!” Washington Division Postal Inspector John Camps is responsible for prevention and security at the Washington Division. He was called to serve active duty from September 2002 through August 2003 with the U.S. Army Reserves as a Major at the Headquarters of the 220th Military Police (MP) Brigade. He was named Chief of Long Range Plans, responsible for all future operations of the brigade until the planning shifted to execution. He supervised two other officers and five non-commissioned and enlisted personnel. Inspector Camps has been serving in the reserves since 1987. While serving active duty for Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was stationed at Ft. McPherson in Georgia, at Camp Doha and Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, and at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq. Following is a description of his recent service in his own words. “My brigade was the theater-level, combat-support Military Police Brigade responsible for daily law and order, area security, gathering police intelligence, convoy security and escort, and facility security of sites such as Camp Arifjan and Camp Victory, oil pipelines and refineries, and the confinement of U.S. military prisoners. At the height of combat, about 6,000 soldiers were under the command and control of troops in my brigade. We were responsible for all MP operations in Kuwait, and convoy and area security along the main supply routes from the Kuwait-Iraqi border and throughout Baghdad. I was the first soldier at the 220th MP Brigade to deploy for Iraqi Freedom, and the first to arrive in Kuwait. I was part of the team at 3rd Army Headquarters that developed the military police portion of the war plan for combat-support missions at Ft. McPherson and Camp Doha. I began developing the war plan for the 220th MP Brigade in Kuwait, until two more officers arrived to assist with the plan. When war planning shifted to the operations folks—who would execute the plan I developed—I conducted the ‘hand-off ’ of operations with Military Police Brigades that later entered Iraq and prepared my brigade to transfer its missions to the brigade that would relieve us. Three months prior to leaving Iraq, I began preparing our earliest arriving units to return to the United States.” Postal Police Officer Raymond Singletary, Baltimore, MD, Domicile, was stationed in Iraq for one year, from February 2003 through March 2004. He is a Staff Sergeant in the Military Police and is currently assigned to the 443rd Military Police Company. PPO Singletary sent this note via e-mail: “I am assigned to the 443d Military Police Company as a Staff Sergeant with direct responsibility for 12 soldiers and for their training. The U.S. Army Reserves sent me to San Antonio, TX, following 9-11, and we stayed for about one year. Our mission was to secure the base. They had 28 gates for point of entry, with main roads entering and exiting from one side of the base to the other. We also provided law enforcement functions. A year later I returned home, but was shipped to Baghdad 90 days later. We left from Baltimore, MD, and went to Ft. Lee, VA, to train and prepare for our mission in Baghdad. There the 443d Military Police Company was responsible for a prison camp, Camp Cropper. We were responsible for maintaining highvalue prisoners and common criminals, as well as law enforcement functions. On my return from Baghdad, I attended classes in non-commissioned officers’ schools. In May 2005, I returned from a mission in Port au Prince, Haiti, again involving law enforcement duties. The mission included joint Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force troops. I returned from Senegal, West Africa, in July 2005 on another joint forces mission. I’m now awaiting a trip to Egypt, and from there my unit is scheduled to go to Germany to provide law enforcement assistance. We are tasked to return to Baghdad through 2007, but things can change at any time. You know the government… Photo: Robert B. Wemyss Photo: Frank Charlonis Photo: Frederick W. Hosenfeld Photo: Andrew Kovats (right) with his translator Photo: Bryant D. Boozer Photo: Robert M. Kugach Photo: Cecil A. Frink Photo: Kenny Miller Photo: J. Eric Doyle Photo: Travis A. Bartelson Caption: Postal Inspector Frank Ducar is External Crimes Team Leader at the Fresno, CA, Domicile and Deputy Brigade Commander of the 1st Brigade, 91st Division of the U.S. Army Reserve. He submitted this photo showing the sizzling temperatures at LSA Anaconda, northeast of Baghdad, in September 2004. Inspector Ducar was featured in the 2003 Inspection Service Bulletin magazine honoring employees who were on active duty in Iraq. Photo: David F. d’Artenay Photo: DeShan Bowers Photo: Johnny D. Niedzwiedzki Photo: Mauricio F. Atherly Photo: Steven Nardoni Photo: Postal Inspector Karen O’Neill on Saddam Hussein’s former palace balcony. Photo: Inspector O’Neill with members of the Ohio Army Guard at Camp Liberty, Iraq, with their Girl Scout cookies. Photo: Captain Karen O’Neill Caption: Captain Karen is pictured with several of the celebrities that made their way to Baghdad on United Service Organizations (USO) tours. Both Charlie Daniels and Toby Keith performed for the troops, while TV Superman Dean Cain boosted morale by signing autographs and photos. Photo: Postal Inspector Sam Owens Caption: Postal Inspector Sam Owens sent us this photo of him with his interpreter. Inspector Owens wrote, “He’s an 18-year-old Afghan lad by the name of Hamayoun and is responsible for keeping my [slang for rear-end] out of trouble. Many of the interpreters we use are college students and represent Afghanistan’s best and brightest hope for the future. They go where we go, accepting great personal risk, and including some of the more—and many—dangerous places in this land.” Photo: Lt. Col. Samuel Owens aned Michael Owens Caption: Tough departure: Michael Owens, 7, of Urbandale says goodbye to his father, Lt. Col. Samuel Owens, a member of the Iowa Army National Guard's Joint Forces Headquarters unit based at Camp Dodge. Owens departed for duty training soldiers in Afghanistan. ROBERT NANDELL/REGISTER PHOTOS Article: Iowa unit to Afghanistan is quite well-seasoned. The Guard group is the oldest bunch sent from the state. By William Petrosk Register Staff Writer April 27, 2005 Some of the most senior soldiers in the Iowa Army National Guard bid farewell to families and friends Tuesday before heading toward a yearlong tour in Afghanistan. The detachment of 16 soldiers from Camp Dodge is made up almost entirely of veteran Guard members who are at least 40 to 50 years old. Their mission will be to train soldiers in the fledgling Afghan national army, said Lt. Col. Gregory Hapgood, the Iowa National Guard’s public affairs officer. They all have a minimum of 15 years of experience in infantry, artillery,military intelligence or combat engineers, and they were hand-picked by Guard commanders for their training skills. The unit includes Lt. Col. Allen Bloemendaal, 56, a farmer from Sioux Center who is being mobilized for the first time in his 32-year career in the National Guard. Another is Lt. Col. Samuel Owens, 42, of Urbandale, a postal inspector in civilian life who has spent more than 20 years in the military. The detachment commander is Lt. Col. Brett Hora, 41, of Ankeny, with 24 years of Guard service. “There are at least two grandpas that I know of. They are kind of the graybeards,” Hapgood said. Other Iowa units mobilized in recent years have had some individual soldiers in their 40s and 50s, but this detachment is without a doubt the oldest as a single group that has been deployed, he said. The detachment received a customary patriotic send-off Tuesday morning that was attended by about 300 people at Iowa National Guard headquarters in Johnston. The soldiers left soon afterward for a flight to Camp Shelby, MS, where they will spend the next 45 days getting ready to go overseas. They will face some element of danger in Afghanistan because they will be embedded with Afghan combat troops, serving as mentors, and helping with training and planning. Despite being more seasoned, saying goodbye wasn’t easy for the Iowa soldiers, more than half of whom are commissioned officers. “This just comes with wearing the green suit,” said Owens, who tearfully hugged his wife, Melanie, and their two children, Amanda, 10, and Michael, 7. “I don’t like being away from the kids, but what we are going to do within the next year or so will possibly prevent them from having to do anything similar in the years to come.” Stefanie Bloemendaal, 26, posted a cardboard sign to honor her father on the wall at the send-off ceremony. The sign included an American flag and a religious quote: “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” She said she was sad to see her father leave, but this is his last year before he retires and he has spent his entire career training for such a mission. “We are very, very proud of him,” she said. “This is the chance of a lifetime.” Photo: John Camps Photo: Raymond Singletary Ode to ISIIS The Inspection Service Integrated Information System The mission: a new ISDBIS, the Inspection Service Database Information System, with the ability to do what no ISDBIS had ever done before. The strategy: to develop a strategy. As any Postal Inspection Service employee knows, ISDBIS was a sprawling, inflexible, and hard-to-handle system, comprising a complex cluster of programs and subsystems. Mega work-years went into its creation and more went into ensuring that every new business rule for every aspect of case management was incorporated. ISDBIS was a reliable workhorse. But with changes in technology escalating at about the speed of Hurricane Katrina, ISDBIS was no longer state of the art. Information options for Postal Inspectors, analysts, and everyone else in the agency with “a need to know” were expanding, and the now-archaic database system with the nearly unpronounceable name had lost its relevance. Chief Postal Inspector Lee Heath knew he had to bring his agency into the 21st Century. The only way the Inspection Service could successfully accomplish its goals—without a big investment in “people power” and other resources—would be to build new technology that could boost productivity. ISDBIS was cumbersome and expensive to maintain, and a replacement was overdue. Yet obstacles loomed for Information Technology Division (ITD) staff. Year 2000 issues demanded major overhauls to bring Inspection Service systems in compliance. Then came 9-11, followed by several bouts of anthrax, and ricin trailed close behind. Throughout it all, ITD employees stayed on target with dayto- day system development and enhancement requests. Enter the U.S. Postal Service’s IT office with bad news: IT vendor charges were surging, cost cuts were the order of the day, and job loads for postal data centers needed to be better distributed. Much of the Postal Service’s operating system and scheduling software that ran ISDBIS was on the chopping block. When the agency announced that ISDBIS would be moved to another data center, ITD knew it was time for a change. Unless they revamped ISDBIS, the Postal Inspection Service would be slapped with exorbitant charges, plus several million dollars extra in license fees for mainframe computer software—not to mention a host of workload dilemmas. One Module at a Time It was time for a brand new system, a system with increased functionality. A system that required users to input data only once, and in the easiest way possible. A system that could max out data integrity by building in “business rules.” A system that shared data seamlessly between applications, permitted wide access to data, ensured painless data retrieval, and accommodated ever-changing priorities. ITD managers formed a team to focus on a new version of ISDBIS. The result was The ISIIS Development Team. ISIIS: Inspection Service Integrated Information System. The ISIIS Development Team included about 30 Postal Inspection Service employees and contractors and comprised Postal Inspectors, subject-matter experts (SMEs) in case management, ISDBIS mavens, programmers, technical writers, and quality assurance testers. The team’s first task was to document every program and every screen display in ISDBIS and, along the way, define business rules. New database design and coding requirements were also integral to the mission. The Financial Crimes Database (FCD) was deployed in September 2003. The Workhours Module debuted in early November and, on March 1, 2004, a major platform of ISIIS went live: the Resource Management System (RMS). The deployments were part of the solution, but also became part of ITD’s problem. ISDBIS was an integrated system. ISDBIS case management relied on information from RMS and the Workhours Module data. FCD brought in data from credit card companies. Monthly reports and Briefing Book stats borrowed data from all ISDBIS components. While the ISDBIS migration team documented business rules and the ISIIS development team coded the Case Management Module, other team members had to design a means to allow RMS, the Workhours Module, FCD, and ISDBIS to be able to “talk” with each other. Slaying Dragons The “challenges” side of the scale weighed a lot more than the “accomplishments” side, and there wasn’t much time left. Daily meetings revealed only more policies needing more clarification. Questions by ITD staff multiplied in their quest to understand and respond to user needs. Decisions based on 1987 technology had to be reconsidered. At last, portions of the Case Management Module were ready for testing— except that data from ISDBIS wasn’t yet fully migrated. The ISDBIS Data Base Administrator wrote procedures to ensure data was migrated accurately to ISIIS, and ISIIS Data Base Administrators tried to shorten the time needed for migration to less than a week. Staff members now focused on a number of intensive activities: - Testing and retesting programs. - Documenting programs for training purposes. - Migrating more than 14 million records from ISDBIS to ISIIS—more than 3 million of which contained errors and had to be corrected. - Developing and testing reports. - Clarifying policy changes. - Migrating ISDBIS from the San Mateo PDC to Eagan. One by one, the ISIIS Team slew the dragons. ISDBIS, a system in use for 17 years, was laid to rest. On the weekend of July 4, 2005, ISIIS sprang to life. ISIIS Grows Up So what does the Postal Inspection Service think of its new system? Barely more than a year on the job, the juvenile ISIIS is still flexing its muscles—er, programs— and employees are still learning to love a new way of working. Problems have been minor, especially compared to the enormous reach of the newly hatched system. Users now input data themselves—considered a good thing by some and extra work by others. Managers say that, by tracking national results and trends, ISIIS leads to improved decision- making. Data found in most ISIIS reports are updated weekly, compared to ISDBIS monthly updates. While some users prefer using stats from the Briefing Book, others have adapted to a new style. By any measure, ISIIS is a triumph. Other law enforcement agencies are still struggling to develop a “virtual case file”—aka online case management—but to date, all have failed. After spending tens of millions of dollars, they’re still working on it. We’ve got ISIIS. ISIIS for the Future New ISIIS subsystems are in the works or will be adopted as technology advances. Recent enhancements include Mail Covers, the Polygraph Examiner System, Forfeiture Tracking, and the Laboratory Information Management System. Property Disposition, Suspicious Incident Reporting, and the Electronic Surveillance Tracking System will be integrated with existing systems. A number of forms are in line for automation, and wireless, mobile functionality is still to come. If you’ve got ideas for ISIIS, talk to your Division Case Management Coordinator. ITD—and ISIIS—is listening. Photo: The ISIIS Development Team Caption: Front row (l to r): ITD Manager Steve Nguyen, Information Specialist Chris Solis-Grapes, Programmer Dzung Ta, Administrative Specialist Mary Baumgartel, Data Base Administrator Matt Bando, Inspector Judy Sorenson, Operations Technician Terry Heismann. Second row (l to r): Inspector Richard Lennon, Quality Assurance Specialist Jan Metcalfe, Technical Writer Jacqueline Austin, Data Base Administrator Tia Pate (DBA), Programmer Rasheed Shobayo, Data Base Administrator-Programmer Umar Siddiqui, Quality Assurance Specialist Carol Lewis, Data Base Administrator Vic Mohammed. Third row (l to r): Inspector Ken Michalzuk, Operations Technician Nancy Thomas, Information Specialist Alex Grapes, Information Systems Developer-Manager Danilo “Danny” Fularon,Webmaster James T. “JT” Taylor, Inspector Bob Bohde, Inspector Frank Silva, Quality Assurance Team Leader Brian Bulow, Programmer Dale Scott-Morris, and Retired Inspector Neil Schorr. Not pictured are Database Administrator John Elliott, Integrated Data Management System Developer Kay Hilburn, Integrated Data Management System Developer Ed Arpin, former (and late) Business Project Leader Gail Neale, and former Inspector in Charge Sam Guttman. An Introduction to the Office of Counsel By Labor Relations Specialist John S. Covell Office of Counsel, U.S. Postal Inspection Service You can’t talk to me without my representative present.” “Hey, you don’t need to handcuff me, do you?” “Are you sure that’s the right section of Title 18 to charge her under?” “Sergeant, I arrested this guy in the bank across the street for being drunk and disorderly.” “Do I need a warrant to open this parcel?” “Your LEV (law-enforcement vehicle) broke down where?” Questions, questions, questions. Postal Inspectors and Postal Police Officers (PPOs) enforce the laws protecting the U.S. Mail and the Postal Service, but they are not lawyers. Nevertheless, the Postal Inspection Service’s enforcement activities, both preventive and investigative, have a single focus: the legal consequences awaiting anyone who fails to respect the right of the American people to a safe, reliable, and secure postal system and, for some, place of employment. When an Inspector or PPO apprehends someone for violating these rights, that’s not the end of the matter. The Inspection Service’s Office of Counsel manages the Postal Service’s relationship with the federal and state prosecutors who convert the evidence we obtain into a vindication of the right of the public and our employees to a safe and secure Postal Service. Once known as the Legal Liaison Branch, the Office of Counsel is headed by a Chief Counsel—who is also an Inspector in Charge—who reports directly to the Chief Postal Inspector. After years of service as an Inspector-Attorney, Lawrence Katz was appointed Counsel in 2000. He directs a staff of about 30 Inspector- Attorneys, other professional specialists, and support staff whose mission is to provide prompt and competent legal advice and services in support of the agency’s investigations, programs, and goals, and to process requests for access to Inspection Service records. Most of the 20 Inspector- Attorneys are domiciled at field offices, while the Counsel and the remainder of his staff are domiciled at National Headquarters at or near Washington, DC. Laws are anything but static, and those governing U.S. Mail are no exception. Besides staying abreast of emerging case law and statutes, the Office of Counsel provides legal instruction to Inspectors and PPOs as part of their Basic Training, as well as inservice training at field offices. Counsel staff write legal training materials and publish a quarterly newsletter, Of Counsel, which is electronically distributed to all Inspection Service groups to provide legal updates, guidance, and relevant legal news. This material, as well as labor relations information related to the uniformed Security Force, are also published on the Office of Counsel’s Intranet Web site. Inspector-Attorneys comprise the majority of the Office of Counsel staff. They must have at least three years of field experience as Postal Inspectors, plus a law degree from an accredited law school and admission to at least one state bar, before they are eligible for competitive promotion to these ISLE-14 positions. There are two Deputy Counsels (who are also Assistant Inspectors in Charge). AIC Emmett Mattes, domiciled in Bala Cynwyd, PA (near Philadelphia), supervises Inspector- Attorneys in the field. AIC Elvin Crespo at NHQ supervises Inspector-Attorneys as well as Paralegal Specialists Joyce McMillan and Dianne Milner, Program Specialist Karen Soverino, Labor Relations Specialist John Covell, Information Disclosure Specialist Betty White, and three Information Disclosure Technicians, Renee Baxter, Lynne Freeman, and Tammy Warner. Eva McQueen and Crystal Newman provide secretarial support to Counsel staff at NHQ. Some questions are easily answered. “Charge mail fraud involving insurance under 18 USC sections 1033 and 1341.” “No, you can’t exclude his union steward from the interview in those circumstances.” Sometimes the response is, “Let me research that and I’ll get back to you.” Occasionally, it’s “You’re not going to believe this, but that question has never come up.” The common element in all of the questions is that Inspection Service employees need information to do their jobs supporting the agency’s mission of protecting the U.S. Mail and the U.S. Postal Service. Assistance from the Office of Counsel may be crucial in determining whether an employee’s effort is successful. The Office of Counsel works in the background much of the time, but its heroes are not always unsung. Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice recognized seven people for Sustained Exceptional Service, and Inspector-Attorney Terry Finley was one of them. At its annual awards dinner, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force honored Terry’s leadership qualities and high ethical standards in dealing with asset forfeiture matters. They cited his contributions to the investigation of the perpetrator of a fake investment business that bilked more than 8,000 victims— mostly low income and senior citizens— out of about $20 million. Terry obtained a restraining order that led to the seizure of 31 pieces of real property and 49 vehicles. In another case, Terry assisted the Assistant U.S. Attorney in seizing foreign bank accounts and other assets of a fund manager who supported a lavish lifestyle by taking the proceeds of people’s personal- injury settlements that had been entrusted to him for management. These cases demonstrate, not for the first time, that a criminal’s downfall often begins with using the U.S. Mail for an illegal purpose. Wherever the mail goes, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is on watch to ensure its safety and security, and the Office of Counsel is standing by to ensure that “our aim is true.” Chart: Know Your Counsel, An Inspector-Attorney is assigned to each division (and National Headquarters), as shown in this chart. Division: Atlanta, Miami Inspector: Attorney: Scott Morrell Phone: 404-608-4588 Division: Chicago Inspector: Tom Kuczwara Phone: 312-983-6227 Division: Denver Inspector: Kathy Herzog-Evans Phone: 303-313-5337 Division: Detroit Inspector: Terry Finley Phone: 312-669-5652 Division: Houston, Ft. Worth Inspector: Tammie Moore Phone: 281-985-4135 Division: New Jersey Inspector: Mike Cinque Phone: 973-693-4514 Division: New York Inspector: Sandy Marcantonio Phone: 212-330-3399 Division: Philadelphia Inspector: Jim Puchala Phone: 610-668-4510 Division: Pittsburgh Inspector: Mike Rae Phone: 216-443-4010 Division: San Francisco, Los Angeles Inspector: Ed Lawee Phone: 415-778-5958 Division: St. Louis, Seattle Inspector: Terry McKeown Phone: 314-539-9421 Division: NHQ L’Enfant Plaza Inspector: David Reardon Phone: 410-347-4482 Division: NHQ L’Enfant Plaza Inspector: Robert Westbrooks Phone: 202-224-9199 Division: NHQ Rosslyn Inspector: James Rickher Phone: 703-292-3531 Division: Washington Inspector: Tom Sottile Phone: 610-668-4503 The Fabulous riches of the Bankruptcy Court A Guide for U.S. Postal Inspectors By Dean P. Wyman, Esq. To get more from the time and effort you expend on fraud investigations, Postal Inspectors may want to consider bankruptcy filings. Untold riches abound in bankruptcy cases, and you should not overlook the benefits. If a suspect or witness files for bankruptcy, Inspectors should review every detail of the filing. Chapters Under the Bankruptcy Code Debtors may file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, under which they surrender their assets in exchange for a discharge of their debts, or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, allowing them to keep many of their assets and pay creditors from future earnings. Once they’ve completed their payments, they’ll be discharged of all debts and have no legal obligation to creditors. Although Chapter 11 cases may be filed by individuals, Chapter 11 cases are typically used by businesses seeking to reorganize. Therefore, debtors have different choices under the Bankruptcy Code. In a Chapter 7 case, a bankruptcy trustee is appointed as an administrator. Similarly, a Chapter 13 trustee oversees Chapter 13 cases. In a Chapter 11 case, there is no trustee unless the court orders that one be appointed. Therefore, debtors in a Chapter 11 case remain in control of their assets and are known as “debtors in possession.” Bankruptcy Forms Bankruptcy forms are completed by debtors under penalty of perjury. For Postal Inspectors, the forms are the place to begin your work. To locate forms filed and signed by debtors, Postal Inspectors may access the “U.S. Party/Case Index” via the online PACER Service Center. Registration is at www.pacer.psc.us courts.gov. There is a cost for using the system. Information provided by debtors to their attorneys for the purpose of assembling bankruptcy petitions and schedules may not fall within the scope of the attorneyclient privilege. This is because debtors provide the information knowing it will be used in publicly filed bankruptcy forms. Debtors are required to list all names they used in the past six years and the last four digits of Social Security or tax identification numbers. Schedules of Assets Schedules A and B require that debtors itemize their assets. Schedule A covers real property, and Schedule B covers personal property. Although each category is important, Postal Inspectors may want to focus on item 12: “Stock and interests in incorporated and unincorporated businesses. Itemize.” If a debtor owns an incorporated business and files for bankruptcy, they must list their interest in the business. In that case, Inspectors may find it useful to obtain all of the records from that business or the names of employees of the business. Postal Inspectors should not be dissuaded if debtors ascribe a marginal or zero value to the business. While the business may not have a high market value, its records may yield tremendous value to an investigation. Three other items worth looking at are 15, 17, and 20. Item 15 requires debtors to list accounts receivable. Item 17 mandates that debtors disclose “liquidated debts owing debtor.” Item 20 states that debtors must list “contingent and unliquidated claims of every nature.” Answers to these items may prove useful, as anyone who owes a debtor money may have information about them and their prior activities. A favorite schedule for Postal Inspectors is the list of unsecured creditors. Creditors are unsecured if there is no collateral to back their obligations. Debtors must list all unsecured creditors in Schedule F, including names and addresses. Creditors may include victims or witnesses, and they often have valuable information about debtors’ financial backgrounds. Debtors also must list secured creditors on Schedule D. These creditors are often financial institutions or mortgage companies with collateral, such as a mortgage or a lien, to back their debts. Such institutions are likely to have comprehensive information about the debtor, including credit reports and loan applications. Statement of Financial Affairs The Statement of Financial Affairs summarizes a debtor’s recent financial history. Inspectors may want to concentrate on Question 4, which requires debtors to list “all suits and administrative proceedings to which the debtor is or was a party within one year” before the bankruptcy filing. Court documents give an overview of the debtor’s activities, and attorneys who represent individuals in a lawsuit against the debtor are likely to have valuable information about the debtor. Questions 1 and 2 require that debtors list their gross income for the year in which bankruptcy is filed and for the prior two years. Gross income reported on bankruptcy schedules is generally the same as that required on tax returns. Inspectors should also compare income a suspect received as a result of fraud with the amount of gross income disclosed to the Bankruptcy Court. A Comparative Approach to the Forms Postal Inspectors may want to do more than just read bankruptcy forms. For example, it may be worthwhile to look for any disparities between the amount of unsecured debt on Schedule F and the value of assets on Schedule B. If the debt greatly exceeds the value of assets, transactions related to the debt should be checked. Inspectors can also review the types of creditors listed on Schedule F—credit card companies often top the list of unsecured creditors. Information on credit card applications can be compared with information listed on the petition. You may also cross-reference income disclosed to the credit card company with income revealed in the Statement of Financial Affairs. Disparities would suggest fraud. Postal Inspectors need to examine the debts listed in Schedule D. If a mortgage substantially exceeds the market value of the real estate that secures it, the debtor was perhaps less than candid when applying for the loan. An Inspector’s suspicions may be confirmed if the debtor lists a lawsuit by the mortgage company in the Statement of Financial Affairs. If mortgage debts were taken out near the time of bankruptcy, it would be worthwhile to review a debtor’s gross income in the Statement of Financial Affairs. Debtors with minimal income are unlikely to qualify for a substantial mortgage loan. Meeting of Creditors A “meeting of creditors” is held for every bankruptcy. It is similar to a deposition, but more abbreviated. At the meeting, debtors testify under oath about their financial background. The examination supplements, and may clarify, questions and answers in the bankruptcy forms. All information is recorded, and the recording is available to Postal Inspectors by contacting a local Office of the U.S. Trustee. Visit www.usdoj.gov/ust for a list of Trustee offices. Adversary Actions: Objections to Discharge Creditors or governments may challenge a debtor’s ability to discharge a debt. The challenge may come in the form of a lawsuit, known as an “adversary proceeding,” in Bankruptcy Court. There are many legal grounds to object to the discharge of a debt, but the objection most frequently used is that the debtor committed fraud. Adversary proceedings are similar to other lawsuits. Inspectors may find legal papers filed by the debtor, depositions of the debtor, and perhaps a debtor’s admissions. It may also include court hearings at which the debtor testified. The legal order concluding the adversary proceeding is a key document. Debtors may not only agree that they should not receive a discharge, they may also admit to fraud. Alternatively, the court may find that the debtor committed fraud. All of this information should be reviewed. Don’t Forget About Bankruptcy Crimes Mail fraud suspects who file for bankruptcy may have also committed bankruptcy crimes. Several statutes cover such crimes, and most state that debtors may not lie about bankruptcy-related issues, conceal assets, or use the bankruptcy system to further or conceal a fraud (18 USC, Sections 152 and 157). Bankruptcy offenses complement mail fraud charges. A typical bankruptcy crime occurs when debtors conceal assets and lie on their schedules by claiming not to own the assets. But this is not the only conduct covered by bankruptcy fraud statutes. If debtors engage in a scheme to defraud and then file bankruptcy to further the scheme, it is bankruptcy fraud. This is similar to using the mail in a scheme to defraud. Instead of the U.S. Mail, however, the debtor files a bankruptcy petition to further the fraud. For example, when a debtor mails a credit card application with misinformation about income or employment, charges items to the cards, and then files bankruptcy to discharge debts to the credit card companies, that is an act of bankruptcy fraud. Convictions for bankruptcy offenses have additional ramifications under Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The guidelines state that the offense level is increased by two if the offense involved “a misrepresentation or other fraudulent action during the course of a bankruptcy proceeding.” Conclusion The Bankruptcy Court is a good place to start an investigation. It provides Postal Inspectors with a wide range of information that can help in developing not only mail fraud cases, but cases of bankruptcy fraud. Photo: Dean P. Wyman Article: About the Author. Dean P. Wyman is a Senior Trial Attorney with the Cleveland Office of the U.S. Trustee and serves as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. He is a member of the Federal Bar Association and the Cleveland Bar Association. An article by Mr. Wyman, “May I Have My Balance Please? Allocation of Payments In Bankruptcy Cases,” was published in the Summer 1995 issue of the Commercial Law Journal. He also wrote “A 707(b) Sampler,” which appeared in the May 1994 edition of Norton’s Bankruptcy Law Adviser, and “Cash Collateral: The Risks of Non-Consensual Use,” which appeared in the September 1999 issue of the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal. He has been an instructor at the U.S. Trustee’s National Bankruptcy Training Institute in Columbia, South Carolina, and a speaker at continuing legal education programs. The author wishes to express his appreciation to U.S. Postal Inspector Gregory A. Duerr, Cleveland Field Office, Pittsburgh Division, for his comments and insights. Disclaimer: The statements made in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent a statement of policy or otherwise of the Executive Office of U.S. Trustees, the U.S. Trustee for Region 9, or any other person or entity. A History of Badges Worn By U.S. Postal Inspectors By Jennifer M. Lynch, Researcher, Postal History, U.S. Postal Service Photo: Background image of six Postal Inspector badges Caption: The star badge, above at left, was pictured on the Chief Inspector’s stationery in August 1921; its years of use are unknown. No documentation has been found for the two other badges pictured above. Star badges were worn in 1900 and possibly as late as 1922; by 1924 a shield-shaped badge was in use. See subscript 10 Photo: Pony Express Inspector Badge Caption: Date of introduction and first use unknown. First seen pictured in a collection of postal badges dated October 9, 1944.See subscript 9 Photo: Postal Eagle Inspector Badge Caption: The badge with the eagle seal of the United States Postal Service was introduced and in use in 1973. See subscript 8 Photo: Eagle head within Star Badge Caption: The badge with the Postal Service’s “sonic eagle” design was announced in the November 18, 1999, issue of the Postal Bulletin. It was in use by 2000. See subscript 7 Badges have been worn by U.S. Postal Inspectors since at least 1900, although their use was rare, given Inspectors’ desire for anonymity. Traditionally the authority and proof of identity for Postal Inspectors has resided in their pocket-size commission, or “credentials,” usually kept in their coat or hip pocket and shown only as needed. Until 1970, some Postal Inspectors obtained their badges locally, and the designs varied. By 1922, badges were issued to all Postal Inspectors. On August 30, 1922, the Chief Inspector sent a letter to all Inspectors explaining their proper use: “... As a precautionary measure [badges] are issued to all inspectors, but it is believed their use will be justified only in rare instances and that most inspectors, except those employed in cities where there is a large number of foreigners, will probably never find it necessary to show them. Inspectors are prohibited from displaying their badges publicly and are not to exhibit them in private unless other means of identification fail. See subscript 1” The 1934 Manual of Instructions for Post Office Inspectors made no mention of badges. It did, however, contain a section on secrecy, stating that an Inspector should “keep his [sic] own counsel” and “go quietly about his business, avoiding ... self-advertisement.” See subscript 2 By the 1940s, badges were no longer issued to every Inspector. The 1945 Manual of Instructions for Post Office Inspectors contained the following paragraph: “Inspectors who must deal with people who do not understand the meaning of the commission may request issuance of badges. Very few inspectors need badges. Requests must satisfy the inspector in charge that the need for the badges is real. Inspectors will be expected to give badges the same care as they give their commissions. When no longer needed, badges should be returned to the inspector in charge by registered mail. See subscript 3 One Postal Inspector assigned in 1949 didn’t receive a badge until the early 1960s, some 15 years later. See subscript 4 Since 1970, badges once again were routinely issued to Postal Inspectors. In the early 1970s, Inspectors were instructed to wear a badge while making arrests, and to wear it on the left suit lapel “when necessary” to identify themselves in Post Office work areas. Inspectors were specifically instructed not to use unofficial or locally prepared badges. See subscript 5 Currently, all Postal Inspectors are issued badges and are required to carry them along with their credentials. See subscript 6 If you have information on badges worn by Inspectors prior to 1973, please e-mail U.S. Postal Historian Meg Ausman at email@example.com. Subscript 1: Confidential Instructions to Post Office Inspectors, July 1, 1925, page 75, Records of the Post Office Department, Record Group 28, National Archives and Records Administration. Subscript 2: Manual of Instructions for Post Office Inspectors, July 1, 1934, 14-15, Records of the Post Office Department, Record Group 28, National Archives and Records Administration. Subscript 3: Manual of Instructions for Post Office Inspectors, July 1, 1941 (with changes through 1945), chapter 1, section 2, paragraph 1. Subscript 4: E-mail from U.S. Postal Inspector Ronald J. Pry to Jennifer Lynch, 5/23/2005. Subscript 5: Confidential Instructions to Post Office Inspectors, December 1970, section 2.4, Records of the Post Office Department, Record Group 28, National Archives and Records Administration. Subscript 6: U.S. Postal Inspector Tripp Brinkley in a telephone conversation with Jennifer Lynch, July 18, 2005. Subscript 7: The “sonic eagle” badge was worn by Inspectors pictured on the cover of the January 2000 U.S. Postal Inspection Service Directory. Subscript 8: Postal Inspection Service Bulletin, Summer 1973, front cover. Subscript 9: Photograph No. 213 in the collection of the U.S. Postal Service Historian. Subscript 10: The “star” badge appeared below the signature block of a letter from Chief Post Office Inspector Rush D. Simmons to all Inspectors, dated August 31, 1921. A Post Office Inspector’s star badge was mentioned in the July 25, 1900, issue of The Washington Post, and a man wearing a five-pointed star on his overcoat was pictured in a group of Chicago postal employees in a circa-1922 photograph album (No. 1308) in the collection of the U.S. Postal Service Historian. The November 23, 1924, issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune referred to an Inspector’s “shield shaped badge.” The Forgotten Murder The Death of Post Office Inspector Elbert P. Lamberth By Postal Inspector Ron J. Pry, North Houston Domicile, Houston Division In 1991 the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial was dedicated by President George H. Bush in honor of the nation’s law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. By 2003, included among the names engraved on the granite, parapetlike walls were seven Postal Inspection Service employees: four Inspectors, two Investigative Aides, and one Postal Police Officer. The name of Post Office Inspector Elbert Perry Lamberth, age 34, is not among them. His name can only be found on a solitary tombstone in Booneville, Mississippi, where no hint is revealed of the tragedy that befell him. There is no exact date when the story of Inspector Lamberth’s death was forgotten. Like smoke from a candle, it slowly drifted from memory, along with the lives of the Post Office Inspectors who knew the young man and investigated his murder. The National Archives building in Washington, DC, located just a few blocks from the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, has voluminous case files documenting the murders of all the Postal Inspection Service employees whose names have been carved on the national memorial. For Inspector Lamberth, however, no case file, report of prosecution, or any other clue to his sacrifice exists. Even the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri, has no record to indicate Lamberth was ever employed by the Post Office Department. In short, there was nothing to suggest a man named Elbert Lamberth had once carried a Post Office Inspector commission. At least not until a single sheet of paper was discovered by accident in October 2003. The discovery was made at the National Archives when a manila folder marked, “Misc. Correspondence–INC San Francisco 1917,” was opened. Long since closed, with its contents pressed together over time, the one-inch-thick folder contained an assortment of brittle, mundane letters and reports. Reviewing each fragile page, even for a historian, would likely accomplish little more than induce sleep. A single letter, actually a carbon copy of a letter written by the Acting Inspector in Charge at Chattanooga, Tennessee, would completely change this perception and bring forward in a rush the tragic story of a Post Office Inspector whose life and career ended in violence in a small Tennessee town more than 88 years ago. In yet another bizarre twist, the letter was discovered only 48 hours before Chief Postal Inspector Lee R. Heath and former Inspector in Charge Daniel L. Mihalko dedicated a laser laseretched, crystal memorial plaque honoring what was believed to be an inclusive list of our agency’s personnel killed in the line of duty. But in fact, one name was missing. Elbert Lamberth’s career as a Post Office Inspector began in April 1914, when he received his appointment from the position of clerk at the Corinth, Mississippi, Post Office. No doubt he and his pretty young wife, Myrtle, were pleased with his promotion. They had an infant son and would soon add a daughter to the family. At 31 years of age, Elbert was optimistic. He was one of the nation’s youngest Post Office Inspectors, his first domicile assignment was in Corinth, and his whole life and career lay ahead of him. His two great ambitions, to become a Post Office Inspector and raise a family, were coming true. By the summer of 1917, while America was being pulled into “the Great World War,” Inspector Lamberth was reviewing case files in his office at the recently rebuilt Corinth Post Office. One of his cases involved cross complaints filed by Stantonville, Tennessee, Postmaster Joseph P. Harkins and Rural Letter Carrier John B. Gibson, both political appointees. Exact details of the complaints are conspicuously missing from all newspaper accounts and court records. Whatever their contents, the complaints caused the 34-year-old Inspector to travel across the rough Tennessee clay roads, most likely by horseback or buggy, to investigate. In a brief letter written to his wife just four days before his murder, Inspector Lamberth lamented that he would be delayed in Gadsden, Alabama, for a few days longer than expected. “I am here and am unable to say how long I will be here. Got my case before grand jury but the prisoner is not here yet. So guess I’ll be here for another day at least.” Unbeknown to Inspector Lamberth, he was delaying a meeting with a man who would take his life. By August 15, his grand jury testimony completed, Inspector Lamberth headed for Stantonville. He arrived early on the afternoon of August 16, calculating he could finish his investigation with only one more night’s lodging away from home. He needed to get back to Jackson, Tennessee, where his wife and two children had taken up temporary lodging. In the days before paved roads and rapid travel times, Inspectors on assignments lasting as briefly as two weeks and as close as 50 miles from home often found temporary quarters for their entire family. Inspector Lamberth routinely took his wife and children with him on such assignments. As evening fell upon Stantonville, Inspector Lamberth checked into the Elam Hotel, just across the street and two lots east of the town’s Post Office, which was situated in a small general store called, “The Mercantile.” Postmaster Harkins, a burly man with a questionable reputation in the community, was also the store’s proprietor. In a morbid twist of irony, advertisements in the small Post Office and store boasted a “complete line of coffins and caskets.” His neighbors, William C. Elam and his wife, owned the hotel where Inspector Lamberth intended to stay for the night. They lived in a small, white-framed home on the adjacent lot. The hotel, a singlestory building with high ceilings that let the summer heat rise above guests’ beds, proudly offered dining amenities, a porch, and a fenced-in courtyard. By all accounts it was a clean, pleasant rest stop in a small, quiet, rural Tennessee town. After visiting his room, Inspector Lamberth ate dinner at the hotel, leaving his unpacked bag in the room along with his coat. Packed in his travel bag was a personally owned .41-caliber derringer. Lamberth probably carried the weapon more for protection from strangers he might encounter on isolated country roads than from mail thieves or other postal offenders. Besides, his investigation in Stantonville appeared to be nothing more than a dispute between a letter carrier and his boss. According to two ladies dining at a nearby table, Lamberth was finishing his meal around 8:00 p.m., just as Carrier Gibson walked up the porch steps and asked to speak to him. Lamberth amiably obliged the carrier, the two shook hands, and they walked out to the porch and sat down together. The sun was setting behind the hotel, and the porch must have been considerably cooler than the interior of the building. No one else heard any of the nearly hour-long conversation between the two men, but there was no indication of any trouble, at least not until they both rose from their chairs and walked off the porch into the dark courtyard. Gibson walked across the courtyard with Lamberth following closely behind him. They passed William Elam, who was headed into his hotel. Although he heard raised, terse voices, he paid no attention. As Gibson walked through the waisthigh gate at the edge of the courtyard, he suddenly turned and faced Lamberth head on. Wielding a revolver pulled quickly from his coat pocket, Gibson shouted he was going to kill Lamberth and immediately began firing. Horrified guests were aghast as the young, sandy-haired Inspector with a slightly receding hairline and wire-rimmed spectacles collapsed on the ground just inside the gate. Gibson hurriedly walked away into the night, gun in hand. With kerosene lanterns and cries for help, hotel guests began attending to the wounded man and searching the area for the gun responsible for three terrible explosions that, for an instant, had lit up the courtyard and the east wall of the hotel. The town doctor was summoned along with the county sheriff over in Purdy, probably notified by way of the hotel’s handcranked telephone. Until this relatively new invention made its appearance in Stantonville, emergency calls were dispatched by horseback, or in larger towns, by telegraph. Although Gibson had disappeared into the hot, balmy August night, another family member made an unexpected appearance. Gibson’s wife walked through the gate and into the pale yellow glow of the kerosene lanterns. Claiming she wanted to check on the young Inspector’s condition, she knelt beside him, then got up and walked out the same gate from which her husband had retreated only minutes earlier. She had arrived so quickly that Lamberth was still lying on the barren hotel courtyard, an area raked clean of all grass, a common practice in the days before lawn mowers. Inspector Lamberth was soon carried to a bed within the white, wood-framed home of the hotel’s owner, W. C. Elam. His home was only 100 feet northeast of the courtyard. Doctor E. Gerry Sanders found his patient there, suffering from three gunshot wounds, one of which was mortal. But there was more to be found. Outside in the courtyard, as Inspector Lamberth was being carried away, witnesses now found a large handgun lying next to the victim. No one had noticed the revolver earlier. Witnesses were sure the Inspector had been unarmed when the shooting occurred. He wore no coat while dining, and a handgun of that size would have been impossible to conceal. In fact, no one had noticed the handgun until immediately after Mrs. Gibson’s brief appearance when she knelt beside the wounded lawman, purportedly to check on his condition. Surely she would not have planted a gun beside him in a plan to thwart an otherwise indefensible, wanton act of murder? A week later the local newspaper, The McNairy County Independent, would accuse Mrs. Gibson of committing that very act, claiming, “The defense will doubtless be the ‘back pocket attempt,’” a colloquial phrase referring to the act of carrying a handgun in a back pocket that could be dropped at the scene of an otherwise unjustifiable shooting. Stantonville Postmaster and shop owner Joe Harkins was also notified of the shooting. He had lodged one of the cross complaints that resulted in Inspector Lamberth’s fateful visit. Now he was contacting Post Office Inspectors again, only this time the message was urgent and forwarded to Acting Inspector in Charge W. B. Brannan at Chattanooga Division Headquarters. Inspectors throughout the division were immediately dispatched to Stantonville via the Mobile and Ohio Railroad Line to Corinth, some 20 miles from Stantonville. The remaining miles would have to be traversed by buggy or horseback. By the time the sun rose on the morning of August 17, 1917, Inspector Lamberth was nearing death. He had given two deathbed statements, each describing how he was shot by Carrier Gibson without provocation or warning. Knowing he was dying, the young man with a beautiful wife, two healthy children, and a promising career made one final plea. In an especially poignant letter written a month later by hotel owner William Elam to Mrs. Lamberth, the hotel owner stated, “Mr. Lamberth said to me different times it was so hard for him to leave his wife and babies. He said he did not get to see his babies and tell them good-bye when he left home last.” Sadly, his last desire, to see his wife and infant children one last time, would not occur. Inspector Lamberth died at 8:30 a.m., only a few hours before his family arrived by wagon. As for Gibson, he was nowhere to be found. In fact, with help from more than just his wife, he was arranging for legal representation from four high-priced and influential attorneys. Gibson and his family had concerns far different from those of the Lamberth’s. A barber by trade, Gibson wanted no taste of jailhouse food or incarceration. What he wanted was the best legal representation his family’s money could buy. And he got it. While Gibson remained in hiding, his attorneys arranged for his surrender to the county sheriff in Selmer. Six days after the shooting, on August 22, Gibson appeared at the county courthouse, surrounded by legal counsel. He was ushered into a courtroom for the first of several court appearances. Present in the courtroom with their client were four famed defense attorneys: W. C. Sweat, the brothers Abernathy and Abernathy, and H. P. Wood. The men seated at the prosecution’s table were no less impressive. Tennessee Attorney General T. B. Whitehorse and U.S. District Attorney William D. Kyser jointly announced they would represent the state. Attempts to have Gibson held without bond, a standard practice for a capital murder case, were thwarted by the fact that Tennessee had abolished the death penalty. The prosecution had no choice but to concede to the eloquent, persuasive defense arguments that John Gibson was entitled to bail because he could not be charged with a capital crime. The court reluctantly agreed but set bail at a staggering $15,000—a huge amount of money by 1917 standards. Gibson immediately posted bond and walked from the courthouse without spending even one day behind bars. On August 18, 1917, the day after Lamberth’s death, Acting Inspector in Charge Brannan issued a letter to the Inspectors in his division. Carbon copies were dispatched to every INC in the country. Bearing the heading, “SPECIAL AND IMMEDIATE,” the following paragraph appeared: “The latest information received by this office indicates that rural carrier Gipson [sic] is still a fugitive and that some difficulty may be experienced in bringing about his apprehension. If any inspector of this division knows Gipson [sic], he is hereby directed to proceed to Corinth, Mississippi, by first train after receipt of this letter, and there get into touch with Inspectors who are engaged in the investigation, advising this office by telegraph that he is doing so.” Five days later, Gibson had retained four attorneys, was arraigned on a murder charge, and was released on bond. While the media and the gossip focused on the accused, Lamberth’s family struggled to cope with the grief and loss of a loving husband and father, a man described by the local newspaper as “a quiet, peaceful, Christian gentleman.” To compensate Myrtle Lamberth and her two children for their loss, the federal government began sending her a small pension check, adding a few extra dollars for her two children. After surviving for nearly two years with help from family members, Mrs. Lamberth would eventually move away, settling in Dallas, Texas, where she could find employment to support her family. As for John Gibson, his trial began on May 29, 1918. The prosecution spent two days presenting its case to the 12-man jury. Inspector Lamberth’s dying declarations were admitted, along with testimony from witnesses who saw assorted segments of the meeting between the Inspector and the defendant. Still others testified to the details of the shooting and that the weapon found beside Lambert’s body belonged to the defendant. Two Post Office Inspectors testified in rebuttal regarding Lamberth’s reputation as “a quiet, peaceful man.” The defense then presented an incredible story. Gibson sat defiantly in the witness chair and claimed Lamberth had threatened to kill him and had followed the frightened carrier into the hotel courtyard. Gibson claimed he had two handguns in his coat and, as he attempted to flee, one of the weapons fell to the ground. The Inspector picked it up and then threatened, “I told you to stop. If you don’t stop I will kill you.” Gibson continued, “I swung myself as nearly around the [gate] post as I could before I fired. He [Lamberth] said, ‘I will show you how to report me’ and I fired three times. Then he turned and started towards the [Elam] house, and I went home.” No record exists of the closing arguments, but Gibson’s prominent attorneys must have earned their fees. The jury returned a guilty verdict to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter, deciding Gibson had not planned to assault the Inspector when he went to the hotel. Apparently the jury did not feel there was sufficient evidence to warrant a murder conviction— despite the fact that Gibson carried two revolvers to the meeting, asked Lambert to follow him from the hotel into the darkened courtyard, threatened to kill him before shooting three times, and lied on the witness stand. After the guilty verdict was read, Gibson was promptly sentenced to serve two to 10 years in the state penitentiary, but was allowed to remain free on bond pending an appeal. Once again, Gibson walked out of the courthouse surrounded by his legal team. Lamberth family members, including his widow and a large group of Post Office Inspectors and postal employees, remained in the courtroom, stunned. As promised, Gibson’s legal team filed a lengthy appeal, citing a litany of errors committed by the presiding judge. In September 1919, Gibson’s conviction was sustained by the state appellate court, but it served no practical purpose. While no records exist as to what happened to Inspector Lamberth’s killer in the 16 months after his conviction, a single entry in an old McNairy County record book proved to be the final note in the case. On September 18, 1919, the county sheriff reported to the presiding judge that the court’s order to have Gibson pay the costs of his trial could not be fulfilled because the estate of John B. Gibson had insufficient assets to cover court costs. The term “estate” is significant, according to a McNairy County attorney queried on the term, as it means “the property of the decedent.” The court subsequently ordered the state to pay the court costs. Thus, by September 1919, John B. Gibson was dead, the “war to end all wars” was over, the murder case of Post Office Inspector Elbert Perry Lamberth was closed, and Myrtle Lamberth would soon take her two children to Texas. Myrtle Lamberth never remarried and rarely spoke of the horrible summer of 1917, when the dreams and ambitions of the Lamberth family changed forever. She died in 1978 and was buried in Dallas beside her son, Elbert Price Lamberth, who preceded her in death. Their daughter, Sarah, is 90 years “young” and resides in Tyler, Texas. She still grieves for the father she never knew. The Mystery Continues: What happened to the killer? he case of Inspector Elbert Lamberth and his killer, John Gibson, appeared by all accounts to have reached its final conclusion by the summer of 1919. The defendant had apparently died and the court records abruptly ended. But a bizarre hint of a different ending soon emerged, one too incredible to believe and yet too incredible to ignore. Several months after I finished writing the preceding story, a descendent of John Gibson revealed a family secret. Gibson had allegedly faked his own death to avoid going to prison. Purportedly, by 1919 he had fled to Texas where he lived out a long life in a small, anonymous town, unimpeded by the burdens of a murder conviction or life on the run as a fugitive. According to the story, which was told at family reunions in years past, Gibson had shipped a sealed coffin from Texas back to his home state, supposedly containing his remains, along with instructions that his coffin remain unopened and be promptly buried. A few grieving family members, more intent on seeing dear John one last time than honoring his last request, pried open the coffin. To their horror, inside was the body of a large, dead hog. Exactly what became of the coffin (and the hog) is unclear, but the story raised a nearly impossible-to-believe assertion and an equally incredible challenge: Could the story be verified? Hunting down a fugitive in today’s society presents endless obstacles for a Postal Inspector. Locating a fugitive whose trail was covered up more than 86 years ago brings new meaning to the phrase “cold case file.” This case wasn’t just cold, it was frozen solid. The first goal was to find John Gibson’s tombstone. Perhaps John was buried next to his mother, father, or wife. Information on the tombstone might lead to a death certificate—or perhaps two certificates if he had “died” twice. A genealogical search of the Gibson family tree revealed that his mother, Texas Ann Sutton, was buried near the scene of the murder. Her faded marble tombstone, and those of several children, were located but there was no stone bearing John’s name. Further clues led to rural Kaufman County, Texas, where John’s father, Joseph, was supposedly buried in a small cemetery identified only by the words, “Henderson–Mosley.” Inquiries at four Post Offices and two funeral homes in Kaufman County all produced the same response: No one had ever heard of that cemetery. But persistence paid off with a lead from a third funeral home. Although the director was unfamiliar with the cemetery, he suggested visiting a Web site, “findagrave.com.” Based on scant few identifiers, the Web site produced a single lead. There was only one Henderson–Mosley Cemetery in the United States, and it was located off of an unmarked road in Kaufman County. With help from three rural letter carriers, I located the tiny cemetery, overgrown with weeds and sparsely populated with faded tombstones. The cemetery’s owner, an elderly lady who resided at a nearby nursing home, confidently announced that Joseph’s tombstone was within the cemetery’s iron fence, but that no other Gibsons were buried there. It looked as if I had reached another dead end (no pun intended). Her curiosity aroused by this strange inquiry about a tombstone in a cemetery long since abandoned, the cemetery’s owner asked a question of her own: What tombstone was I hoping to find? On hearing the name Joseph Gibson and the possible link to son John Gibson, she volunteered, “You should have asked those questions of J. M. Gipson. Joseph was his grandfather, and John Gibson was his uncle.” Frustrated that I was probably decades too late for such an interview, I asked, “And where is this man now?” She responded, “Oh, he lives down the hall from me here at the nursing home. I had lunch with him today.” After a fast drive to the nursing home, a quick walk down a hallway, and a few minutes pacing the corridor while J. M. got dressed, I was met by a fascinating, amiable gentleman, 89 years “young,” who was articulate, bursting with pride, and eager to tell stories of his childhood. He began by explaining that “J. M.” was his actual name. His parents couldn’t agree on a name, so they just gave him two initials. The Gibson family had also begun using the name Gipson, although he did not know why the alteration had occurred. But one portion of his story was more than just entertaining—it was an epiphany. John Gibson, the man who had murdered Inspector Lamberth, had come to Texas before 1920 and had lived for 20 years in Port Arthur. He was buried near that town, which is located in the far southeastern corner of the state. In addition to knowing his Uncle John’s final resting place and the year he came to Texas, J. M. vividly remembered overhearing his parents talk about how John had killed someone in Tennessee and then fled to Texas to avoid prison. J. M. also revealed several curious points he felt were worth mentioning. John had a brother named Judge who had also killed a man, but the family paid a large sum of money to keep Judge from going to jail. J. M. didn’t know how Judge had avoided prison, but he found it peculiar that, although the family often spoke about Judge’s murder case, they never spoke about John’s murderous activity. J. M. volunteered one other oddity. John Gibson never visited any of his extended family in Kaufman County— the family always traveled to Port Arthur to visit him. J. M. did not ask why Uncle John would not come for a visit. He figured that John preferred staying away from the family. As for the story of the dead hog in the coffin, J. M. said he never heard that story, but with a chuckling voice added, “Knowing the Gipson family back then, it doesn’t surprise me.” Hearing J. M. speak of his uncle brought a startling realization. Here was a man who had personally seen John Gibson many times after 1919, the year his case and his life had supposedly ended. Port Arthur would also be an ideal place for someone to disappear. In the town’s backyard was the “Spindletop” oil boom that began in 1901, causing the area’s population to explode from 15,000 to 70,000 in one year. In the same year, Spindletop produced 17.5 million barrels of oil. Rugged men with anonymous pasts flocked to the area for decades, working the blight of wooden oil derricks and gaslit refineries that sprung up like weeds in the prairies and rice fields that surrounded the city. The pale yellow glow of the refineries may have lit their faces, but the light revealed nothing of their identities. With a new lead on Gibson’s whereabouts, the search effort turned to genealogical records, census reports, death records, and random inquiries at cemeteries. Louise Jeter, a lifelong resident of the Port Arthur area and an accomplished genealogical researcher, volunteered assistance with what she described as “the most unusual request I’ve ever received for help in locating an ancestor.” Within a week, she struck the proverbial gold—or, more appropriate for that region—she struck oil. “John B. Gipson,” son of Joseph Gibson and Texas Ann Sutton, was buried in a local cemetery. When cemetery records showed no such person was buried on the grounds, Louise’s father walked the rows of tombstones searching for the headstone that might unravel the mystery. A manhunt first begun in 1917 was once again closing in on the murderer. Finally, on a cold afternoon in January 2005, John B. Gibson was located, 87 years after his conviction. His granite tombstone, stained with age, bore the last name “Gipson” and the dates 1879 – 1938. A few days later, John Gibson’s obituary and funeral record were located. His date of birth, as well as the names of parents and siblings, all matched the identifiers of the man convicted for the murder of Inspector Elbert Lamberth. Without a doubt, this was the man who had violently taken the life of a young Post Office Inspector in Stantonville, Tennessee, on a hot, humid night in 1917. His obituary confirmed what J. M. Gipson so vividly recalled. John B. “Gipson,” who died on May 6, 1938, had been “a Port Arthur resident for 20 years.” Simple subtraction reveals that Gibson arrived in Port Arthur in 1918, the same year he was convicted of murder. In one final note of irony, the sermon at Gibson’s funeral was delivered by a Pastor “Lambert,” the same incorrect spelling that was often given for Inspector Lamberth. The story of the forgotten murder of a 32-year-old Post Office Inspector, combined with the incredible story of a killer who “died twice,” appears to be closer to fiction than fact. Do we now know the whole truth beyond any doubt? Definitely not. The unexplained absence of case files for this investigation is troubling, as is the absence of personnel records for Inspector Lamberth. The murders of all other Inspection Service personnel are well-documented. Only Inspector Lamberth’s file is missing. The investigation of the 1908 murder of Inspector Charles Fitzgerald, also a member of the Chattanooga Division, is recorded in a voluminous case file that covers investigative activities into the mid-1920s. But the whereabouts of the file on Inspector Lamberth’s murder are unknown, as are definitive answers to many questions. Tennessee prison records for the 1918 – 1920 time frame are also nonexistent. The 1920 National Census reveals that a man named John B. Gibson resided in a Tennessee prison, but the offense is not listed and the inmate’s age does not match that of Lamberth’s killer. He is also listed as being an unskilled laborer. The John B. Gibson of this story was not only a rural letter carrier but a barber, which was a skilled profession in the early 20th century and undoubtedly a talent highly valued in prison. Fingerprints and photographs of inmates in 1920, if they ever existed, have long since been destroyed. In summary, we must rely on the best available evidence for this story—court records, an appellate court decision, newspaper stories, and the recollections of descendants. Based on these sources, John B. Gibson, aka “Gipson,” appears to have eluded punishment, although he was convicted for his crime. Inspector Lamberth’s brother wept openly when he spoke of this tragedy, telling family members that the man who killed his brother never served a day in prison. The brother was apparently correct, although he never knew that the man who took his brother’s life had escaped prison not by death, but by deception. Acknowledgements Researching a Post Office Inspector’s murder that occurred in 1917 required a team approach. Special thanks are extended to the following people, whose cooperation, time, and talents were essential to solving the mystery of Inspector Lamberth’s murder. Without their involvement, many details of the case might never have been unearthed and, without doubt, Inspector Lamberth’s name would not have been rightfully added to the wall of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Sarah L. Fink, retired Inspector Ricky D. Dodd, J. M. Gipson, Jim Gipson, Carol Goolsbee, Earl and Estelle Hilton, Will and Louise Jeter, Nancy W. Kennedy, Chief Postal Inspector Lee R. Heath, retired Inspector Cal Hudson, Wayne and Martha Lamberth, Inspector Dwayne Martin, retired Inspector Dan Mihalko, Maxey Phillips, Inspector Lou Recchilongo, Lynna Kay Shuffield, Bill Wagoner, and finally, Camilla Felker and Verna Sipes of the McNairy County, Tennessee Historical Society. Photo: Postal Inspector Ron J. Pry Photo: Tombstone reading “Lamberth, E.P. Lamberth, Jan. 13, 1883, Aug. 17, 1917” Photo: Post Office Inspector Elbert Perry Lamberth Caption: Post Office Inspector Elbert Perry Lamberth, killed in the line of duty, August 17, 1917, at age 34. No investigative case file or Post Office Department personnel record exists to document the story of his tragic murder. Photo: Mercantile receipt and Colt Derringer Caption: Colt Third Model Derringer, .41-caliber rim fire. This is the actual handgun Inspector Lamberth carried with him but left in his hotel room before his interview with Carrier Gibson. The Mercantile receipt, dated August 17, 1917, signed by Post Office Inspector E. R. Martin, documenting the recovery of accountable property from the body of Inspector Lamberth. The receipt was written on stationery of the store of Postmaster J. P. Harkins. Included is the entry, “P. O. Inspector’s Lookout Key No. 26193.” This is the same serial number shown on a modern-day Inspector’s key. Photo: Post Office Inspectors of the Chattanooga Division in 1917 Caption: Inspector Lamberth poses with other Post Office Inspectors of the Chattanooga Division in 1917. Lamberth is in the second row, fifth from the left. Photo: Watercolor Caption: Watercolor of the crime scene, the Elam Hotel courtyard, painted by Berne Holman, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, San Francisco. Photo: Lamberth family photo Caption: A family photo of Myrtle Lamberth and her two children, Elbert, Jr., and Sarah, taken approximately seven years after her husband’s murder. The absence of a father in this family photograph is painfully obvious. Photo: Sarah Lamberth Fink Caption: Post Office Inspector Elbert Lamberth’s name was officially recorded on the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC, and his sacrifice formally recognized by adding his name to a Postal Inspection Service memorial plaque in June 2004. Lamberth’s daughter, Sarah Lamberth Fink (pictured here), traveled from her home in Tyler, Texas, to attend the ceremony at National Headquarters. Photo: John Gibson, Inspector Elbert Lamberth’s killer Photo: Tombstone of John B. Gipson Caption: The epitaph reads, “His many virtues form the noblest monument to his memory.” In Memoriam U.S. Post Office Inspector Ernest M. Harkins July 25, 1897 – January 12, 1949 By Retired Postal Inspector Calvin W. Hudson A Post Office Inspector’s Tale January 12, 1949, began as a blustery winter day in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. As was the family routine, 15-year-old Grace Harkins was dropped off at school by her father. For some reason, she did not follow her usual practice of kissing him goodbye. It was an omission she would regret for years to come. Grace’s father, Post Office Inspector Ernest Harkins, entered the U.S. Post Office and Federal Building at 5th and Harvey Streets in Oklahoma City at about 8:30 a.m. to pick up mail for the domicile. He failed to see the shadowy figure lurking in a nearby stairwell. As he stooped to retrieve mail from Post Office drawer 918, the figure approached the Inspector from behind. He fired one shot from a .22-caliber pistol into the back of Harkin’s head, killing him instantly. Joseph Donnelly, the gunman, threw his weapon into a trash can and sauntered up to the Post Office information window. He asked that the police be called because he had just shot a man. When the police arrived, they immediately ordered Donnelly to raise his arms, causing a machete to fall from his coat. He told the officers that, if the gun didn’t work, he was going to kill Inspector Harkins with the machete. Joseph Donnelly had long been a thorn in the side of the U.S. Postal Service. He became known to officials after writing numerous letters to the Postmaster General, the Chief Post Office Inspector, and other postal executives about two $20 postal money orders he alleged were stolen from him. His most recent complaints were with Inspector Harkins, whom he claimed had done him wrong and on whom he took his vengeance. Postal Inspector Clyde E. Zurmehly, Sr. led the investigation of Inspector Harkin’s murder. It was not yet a federal crime in 1949 to kill a federal law enforcement agent, so the case went to the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a crime on a “government reservation”—which the Post Office was, being located on federally owned land. Donnelly’s attorney attempted to enter a plea of insanity, but the plea was denied. Donnelly instead pled guilty to one charge of murder on a government reservation. He was sentenced to life in prison. Although other law enforcement agencies assisted in the investigation, justice in this case was extremely swift due to the thorough and timely investigation by the Postal Inspection Service team, led by Inspector Zurmehly. On February 14, 1949, when Joseph Donnelly entered his plea of guilty for the murder of Inspector Harkins, it was a scant 32 days after the commission of the crime. He died in prison on July 31, 1971, at the age of 96. Back to the Present Following the horrendous events of September 11, 2001, I inquired if National Headquarters had a memorial commemorating Postal Inspection Service personnel killed in the line of duty. There was none. I then turned to the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial in Washington, DC, of which I am a founding member, to see whether the names of Inspection Service employees killed in the line of duty were inscribed on the memorial. There were seven, including that of Inspector Harkins. I decided to gather information about the seven who died, with the idea of erecting a fitting memorial at the National Headquarters building. I gained much valuable information from the late retired Postal Inspector Ken Ratts, who was e-mail coordinator for the National Association of Retired Postal Inspectors (NARPI). Inspector Ron Pry of the Houston Division joined me in the effort. Due in part to the untiring labor of Inspector Pry, a memorial plaque listing the names of Inspection Service employees killed in the line of duty came into being. A dedication ceremony, led by Chief Postal Inspector L. R. Heath was held in his offices on October 9, 2003. Surviving family members of those listed on the plaque were in attendance and were presented with replica plaques. The lone exception was the family of Post Office Inspector Harkins, who we were unable to locate. Later that year, a woman by the name of Mrs. Grace Light phoned the Inspection Service Domicile in Oklahoma City. Her house had burned, and she wanted to make alternate arrangements for her mail delivery. She spoke with Diane Hunter, who was on a detail with the office. As their conversation was winding down, Mrs. Light remarked that her father, Ernest Harkins, had been a Postal Inspector and that she would have loved to have followed in his footsteps and become the first female Postal Inspector. When Diane learned that Mrs. Light was the daughter of Inspector Harkins, she told her that the Inspection Service had been trying to locate members of Harkin’s family. She invited Grace Light to visit the domicile and meet the Postal Inspectors and support personnel there. Mrs. Light appreciated the invitation, but was never able to make the visit. Diane Hunter called Inspector Ron Pry in February 2004 on an unrelated matter. During their conversation, Inspector Pry happened to ask if she was familiar with the Harkins case. She told the Inspector that she had spoken with Grace Light, the Inspector’s daughter, a year earlier. Inspector Pry informed the Chief Inspector’s Office that Harkin’s daughter had been located. A memorial plaque was then created and forwarded to Ft. Worth Division Inspector in Charge Daniel Cortez for presentation to Grace Light. Oklahoma City Domicile personnel coordinated a formal presentation ceremony and, on March 17, 2005, presented Grace Light with the plaque honoring her father. Mrs. Light was accompanied by her daughter, grandchildren, and other family members, who all expressed gratitude for recognition of the Inspector’s sacrifice. At a reception following the ceremony, Inspector Pry and other employees gave a presentation that included the story of Inspector Harkin’s death. I was also present, as were retired Inspectors Clyde Zurmehly, Jr.—whose father had headed the murder investigation—Jack Bounds, Wallace Pugsley, and Hal Gibson. So ended the long search for the surviving family members of Inspection Service personnel killed in the line of duty. Inspector Harkin’s name is now inscribed not only on the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial, but also on a memorial plaque at National Headquarters, and preserved for his family on the plaque presented to Grace Light. May Post Office Inspector Ernest Harkins rest in peace. Photo: Retired Postal Inspector Calvin W. Hudson Caption: About the author. Retired Postal Inspector Calvin W. Hudson was appointed as an Inspector on April 20, 1956, and assigned to the New York Division. He was detailed to the Boston Division in October 1962 to work on the investigation of the Plymouth mail robbery (see story in the February 1998 Bulletin magazine). Hudson returned to New York in March 1964 and was assigned to the Flushing, NY, Domicile. In June 1967, he was assigned to the Transit Service Depredation Team to work Mafia-related mail theft cases, resulting in the arrests of 115 “lesser lights” and hangers-on of the Mafia. In March 1971, he was detailed to work with Senator McClellan’s Committee on Organized Crime, with late Assistant Chief Inspector Charles Miller. He was granted a transfer to Oklahoma City in July 1971, where he was a major crimes coordinator until his retirement on February 28, 1977. NARPI Corner A Letter from the New President of NARPI, Mike Ryan A slate of new national officers for NARPI (the National Association of Retired Postal Inspectors) was sworn in during a combined National and Western Region Reunion in San Diego in late September 2005. Interestingly, three out of four of the officers held a chapter office at the time they were sworn in. Former Vice President of the NorCal Chapter Bob Cooper is our new National Vice President. Jay Skidmore, Vice President of the NY/NJ Metro Chapter, is our new National Secretary, and Bob Blackburn, Secretary/Treasurer of the Georgia Chapter, is now our National Treasurer. I (Mike Ryan) advanced from the office of National Vice President to National President. No doubt the three new national officers are now or soon will be actively (if not frantically) searching for a fellow chapter member to assume their responsibilities pending their chapter’s next scheduled election. While I have no statistics to support it, I believe our current roster of national officers is (excluding me) the youngest and most computer-literate group of national officers NARPI has ever had. We’re confident that this youth factor, coupled with the addition of a computer guru in the person of Tom Buggie (our newly appointed National Electronic Communications Coordinator) will enable NARPI to advance to the next level in communications technology. That advancement will include, but not be limited to, the way in which we transmit information to members, the overall functionality of our Web site (www.narpi.org), and the format and accessibility of our quarterly newsletter, NARPI News. I, for one, am excited about the possibilities brought to the table by our new NECC and national officers. I have no doubt my two-year term as President of NARPI will witness groundbreaking developments that will measurably strengthen NARPI and help ensure the long-term viability of this truly exceptional association. All the best, M.W. “Mike” Ryan p.s. It may interest Postal Inspection Service employees to know that eligibility to join NARPI has been expanded. In addition to retired Postal Inspectors, any employee at an Inspection Service domicile or division, or at National Headquarters, who retired from an administrative or staff position (or from the U.S. Postal Service) or served in such a position for at least five years under honorable circumstances is eligible for associate membership. Photo: NARPI National President Mike Ryan Photo: NARPI National Vice President Bob Cooper Photo: NARPI National Secretary Jay Skidmore Awards Inspectors Lisa Holman and John Johnson Recipients of 2005 Awards from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children U.S. Postal Inspector Lisa Holman of the Charlotte Division received an award from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children during a ceremony held on May 25, 2005, in Washington, DC. Working with Detective Joanna Morton of the Hickory Police Department and Special Agent Lori Shank of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Inspector Holman was honored for her work uncovering a child-sex and pornography ring in late 2003. Ringleader Marvin Witherspoon and others sexually abused untold numbers of young children, manufactured child pornography, and trafficked in child pornography by mail for decades. Inspector Holman and her colleagues seized evidence in North Carolina and Florida, reviewed hundreds of videos, conducted scores of interviews, and coordinated the relocation of several child victims. As a result of the investigation, Witherspoon was sentenced to 32 years in prison on state charges and 10 years on federal charges. Other ring members received terms of up to 10 years in prison. Inspector Holman and her colleagues were later invited to meet with President George W. Bush at the White House as a personal “thank you” for their work. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s New Jersey/Caribbean Division was recognized for its work as part of the multi-agency “Regpay” investigation. Regpay referred to a company that processed credit card information for child pornography Web sites. By tracking payment data, investigators identified thousands of child pornography subscribers around the world. Operation Falcon was formed to track and dismantle this global child porn network. Falcon included Postal Inspectors, agents from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Internal Revenue Service agents. In all, investigators arrested 1,300 child pornography suspects. U.S. Postal Inspector John J. Johnson and other members of the Falcon Task Force received an award from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on May 25, 2005, and were then invited to the White House to meet with President George W. Bush, who thanked them personally for their work. Inspector Johnson presented the President with a Challenge Coin during the visit. Postal Inspector Thomas K. Clinton of the Pittsburgh Division Receives ‘The Wired Cops’ Award U.S. Postal Inspector Thomas K. Clinton of the Pittsburgh Division was honored with The Wired Cops Award for his exceptional work in the investigation and prosecution of Scott Tyree, a 38-year-old child predator. The award was presented by The Wired Safety Group at its Fifth Annual Wired Kids Summit and Awards Luncheon held on Capitol Hill on May 25, 2005. Wired Safety is the largest online child safety and help group in the world, operating through thousands of volunteers in 76 countries. More than 200 invited guests participated in the event, and U.S. Senators Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) spoke about the critical need to keep children safe from online predators and to protect them from exploitation. Inspector Clinton was recognized, with FBI agent Denise Valentine, for his investigation of a 13-year-old Pittsburgh girl, who was lured from her home by Scott Tyree after meeting him in an online chatroom. Tyree took her to Herndon, VA, and kept her chained in a dungeon in his basement for three days. Inspector Clinton and his FBI colleague recovered the girl and arrested her abductor. Tyree was successfully prosecuted and, on May 20, 2005, sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. Inspector Clinton and Agent Valentine- Holtz conducted the investigation as members of the Western Pennsylvania Crimes Against Children Task Force. The victim is now an active member of The Wired Safety Group and speaks of her own past experience to help other children avoid becoming victims. Photo: U.S. Postal Inspector Lisa Holman and others with President George W. Bush. Caption: (l to r) Postal Inspector Lisa Holman, Hickory Police Detective Joanna Morton, and NC State Bureau of Investigation Special Agents Ginger Hutchinson and Lori Shank were personally thanked by President George W. Bush during their White House visit. Photo: U.S. Postal Inspector John Johnson and President George W. Bush Caption: Postal Inspector John Johnson presented the Chief Postal Inspector’s Challenge Coin to President George W. Bush during his White House visit. Photo: Postal Inspector Thomas K. Clinton Post Office Renamed for Father of Postal Police Captain Gregory Brown Postal Police Captain Gregory Brown of the Houston Division, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, attended a renaming ceremony on May 1, 2004, for the Nyack Post Office, located on South Broadway in Nyack, New York. Captain Brown’s father, Waverly “Chipper” Brown, was one of three men gunned down during a robbery on October 20, 1981, committed by members of the Black Liberation Army and the Weather Underground. The gang stole $1.6 million from a Brinks armored car while guards were making a pickup from a nearby bank. The Post Office now bears the names of Edward O’Grady, Waverly Brown, and Peter Paige. Brown and O’Grady were police officers, and Paige was a Brinks armored-truck guard. The legislation was sponsored by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Representative Eliot Engel (D-Bronx), and was approved by the House of Representatives on October 20, 2003, the 22nd anniversary of the robbery. Schumer applauded the community for keeping the tragedy in its heart and thanked the families of the three men. “We remember their families walk with a hole in their hearts every day because of the loss,” Schumer said. “Today, nine children are the best testament to the character of Ed, Peter, and Waverly. And we will never forget what they did for us.” Captain Gregory Brown and his sister, Karen Harrington, added, “We’re very happy this honor was bestowed upon our father and two other officers. We are very thankful for the people of Rockland for this celebration of our father’s life.” The robbers used a U-Haul truck as a getaway vehicle. When they were stopped at a roadblock at the New York State Thruway, the robbers jumped out of the van and shot O’Grady and Brown, and wounded another officer. Photo: Gregory Brown Caption: Gregory Brown, whose father Waverly Brown was killed during the Brinks robbery in 1981, listens to the ceremony re-naming the Nyack Post Office for the victims of the Brinks robbery, Edward O’Grady, Waverly Brown, and Peter Paige on May 1, 2004. Gregory Brown grew up in Nyack and is now a member of the Postal Police in Houston. (Kathy Gardner/The Journal News ) Photo: Plaque unveiling Caption: From left, Josephine Paige, Gregory Brown, Sen. Charles Schumer, Congressman Eliot Engel, and Diane O'Grady on May 1, 2004, unveil the plaque stating that Congress has designated the Nyack post office be renamed in honor of the victims of the Brinks robbery in 1981. The victims were Edward O’Grady, Waverly Brown, and Peter Paige. (Kathy Gardner/ The Journal News) Want To Be a U.S. Postal Inspector? Get Online. In what is being termed an amazing coincidence, it has been noted that a number of important events in American history all took place on August 1. Just look at the facts: August 1, 1790: The first U.S. Census was completed. August 1, 1876: Colorado becomes the 38th state. August 1, 1958: A First-Class U.S. postage stamp goes up to four cents. August 1, 1981: MTV begins broadcasting. August 1, 2005: The U.S. Postal Inspection Service accepts its first online application. According to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, federal agencies are increasingly turning to information technology to help them recruit and select employees. Many are now using automated hiring systems to announce jobs, receive applications, and identify promising candidates. Now the Postal Inspection Service has joined the vanguard. Its Human Resource Performance Group opened the application process for Postal Inspectors in August 2005—the first activity in this area since June 2004. The key difference from prior years was that the 13-day open period showcased a newly designed, automated process. Interested candidates could complete their entire application online at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Internet Web site, at www.usps.com/postalinspectors. From August 1 through 13, 5,935 visitors to the Web site applied online to become Postal Inspectors. This is second only to the 7,862 applications received during the entire year of 2003, when the process was completed manually. It’s great positive feedback for the Postal Inspection Service. Photo: Screen snapshot of U.S. Postal Inspection Service employment site Booked Up With Postal Inspectors Postal Inspector Tripp C. Brinkley is an avid reader and collector of U.S. Postal Inspection Service books and memorabilia. He agreed to share a “short” list of books he has come across that were written by, for, and about our agency—and related topics. Adsit, Byron D, Uncle Sam’s Bad Boys or, Leaves From the Diary of a Post Office Inspector, 1888. Baarslag, Karl, Robbery by Mail: The Story of the U.S. Postal Inspectors,1938. Bailey, F. Lee, The Defense Never Rests, 1972. Includes a chapter on the Plymouth Mail Robbery, but is critical of the Postal Inspection Service’s investigation. Bailey, F. Lee, For the Defense, 1975. Also includes a chapter on the Plymouth Mail Robbery—and is also critical of the Inspection Service’s investigation. Broun, Heywood and Leech, Margaret, Anthony Comstock, 1927. Cartwright, F.C., G-Men of the GPO, circa 1930. British book about British Postal Inspectors. Catterall, Lee, The Great Dali Art Fraud. International mail fraud case from the 1980s. Clifton, Robert, Murder by Mail, “and other postal investigations,” 1979. The author was a U.S. Postal Inspector. Comstock, Anthony, Traps for the Young, 1883, republished in 1967. The author was a Post Office Inspector, and the book is mostly about mail fraud and obscenity. Comstock, Anthony, Frauds Exposed, 1880. The author was a Post Office Inspector. The book is 576 pages and features beautiful binding and illustrations. Crump, Irving, The Boys’ Book of the U.S. Mails, 1926. Several chapters highlight the work of Postal Inspectors in the areas of mail theft, train robberies, and various heroic exploits. Cushing, Marshall, The Story of Our Post Office: The Greatest Government Department in All Its Phases, 1893. The book is 1,034 pages long and includes more than 450 photos and engravings, with several chapters devoted to Postal Inspectors. DeMott, John B., Yankee Postal Inspector, 1982. The author was a U.S. Postal Inspector. This paperback is the autobiography of a Boston Postal Inspector in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Denniston, Elinore, America’s Silent Investigators, 1964. “The Story of the Postal Inspectors who Protect the United States Mail.” Disney, Doris Miles, Black Mail, 1960. Disney, Doris Miles, Mrs. Meeker’s Money, 1960. Disney, Doris Miles, Unappointed Rounds, 1956. Elliott, Carter, Riding a Blue Horse, 2003. A novel about a young Postal Inspector and a state trooper who investigate a child exploitation case. Fay, S., Chester, Lewis and Linklater, M., Hoax, 1972. Greenburg, Martin, Murder Most Postal: Homicidal Tales that Deliver a Message. Gronning, Sam and Kammen, Robert, One Bloody Sunday. This novel is about “an ex-cop and Vietnam Vet-turned-Postal Inspector who teams with an Ojibwe Indian detective against an embezzler, the Mafia, and kidnappers in a confrontation with Middle Eastern students bent on a terrorist act that will set this country on its collective ear!” Holbrook, J., Ten Years Among the Mail Bags, 1855, also available in1856 and 1888 editions. “Notes from the Diary of a Special Agent of the Post Office Department.” The author was a U.S. Postal Inspector. Jeffers, H. Paul, Gentleman Gerald, 1995. “The Crimes and Times of Gerald Chapman, America’s First ‘Public Enemy No. 1.’” The story of a 1920s mail truck robbery. Kahn, E. J. Jr., Fraud, “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and some of the fools and knaves it has known,” 1973. Kelland, Clarence Budington, The Great Mail Robbery, 1950. Kenyon, W.A., Bill Kenyon of the Postal Inspectors and Army Postal Service, 1960. The autobiography of a Postal Inspector who writes about some of his interesting and unusual assignments. Lowe, Jonathon, Postmarked for Death, 1995. A novel featuring a Postal Inspector, written by a postal clerk in Tucson, Arizona. This one has it all: A lonely and embittered LSM clerk slips into madness and bombings, plus a romance between a rookie Inspector and his Inspector in Charge. Makris, John N., The Silent Investigators, 1959. “The Great Untold Story of the Postal Inspection Service.” McGrady, Sean, Dead Letters, Town Without a ZIP, and Sealed With a Kiss. Postal Inspector novel. Norfleet, J. Frank, Norfleet, 1924. A mail fraud case in Sugarland, Texas, featuring a four-year, 30,000-mile chase after con artists. Parker, David B., A Chautauqua Boy in ’61 and Afterward, 1912. This biography by a former Chief Post Office Inspector includes a Civil War history and chapters on his various government jobs. Petschel, H.K., Spurious Stamps: A History of U.S. Postal Counterfeits, 1997. The author was a Postal Inspector, and the story is a compilation of cases involving stamp counterfeits and mail fraud. Phinazee, John E. and Weaver, Larry G., Moments in Time: True Stories of the United States Postal Inspectors, 2003. The authors were Postal Inspectors in the Atlanta area. Rayner, Richard, Drake’s Fortune. A fraud case set in the 1920s and ’30s. Rice, Robert, The Nature of Midnight (Forge Publishing), 2003. Novel of an Internal Affairs Inspector on a murder case in Montana, in a story related to the 1915 sinking of the Lusitania. Richards, Clay, Death of an Angel, 1890s. A novel about a Post Office Inspector investigating a mail bomb in New York. Richards, Clay, Who Steals My Name, 1965. Rosenfeld, Arthur, Diamond Eye (Forge Publishing), 2001. A Postal Inspector solves a child pornography case in Los Angeles. Stice, James Lincoln, Free Enterprise, 1945. The author, who was a Postal Inspector, wrote this collection of cases that were originally published in a local newspaper. Scarce but interesting accounts of Inspectors’ experience in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, and other areas from the 1890s to early 1900s. Sturholm, Larry and Howard, John, All for Nothing: The True Story of the Last Great American Train Robbery, 1976. The story of the DeAutremont brothers’ robbery. Tidyman, Ernest, Big Bucks, 1982. The story of the Plymouth mail robbery. Van Cise, P.S., Fighting the Underworld, 1936. The Bunco case, as written by a Denver District Attorney. Warren Commission Report: The Assassination of President Kennedy. The testimony and details of Postal Inspector Harry D. Holmes’ involvement in the investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald, and the interview he conducted with him minutes before Oswald was shot to death by Jack Ruby. Webb, Martha G., Darling Corey’s Dead, 1984. A Postal Inspection Service crime novel set in Texas. Winne, Mark, Priority Mail, 1995. The investigation and trial of a mail bomber. Woodward, P.H., The Secret Service of the Post Office Department, 1886 (modern reprint available). The author was a Chief Special Agent. Several chapters appeared under the title, “Sharretts the Detective, Being a Record of Famous Mail Robberies,” as a part of Warne’s Detective Stories. Image: U.S. Postal Inspection Service Seal Bulletin, November 2005 Vol. 52, 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 1735 N. Lynn St. 4th Fl. Arlington, VA 22209-4011 ATTN: Bulletin Editor Lee R. Heath Chief Postal Inspector Robert G. DeMuro Inspector in Charge, Congressional & Public Affairs Debbi Baer Editor Martin Communications, Inc. Design Vist our Web site at www.usps.com/postalinspectors