Chesapeake man sentenced to 12 years in prison for armed robberies of postal workers – Daily Press

A federal judge sentenced a Chesapeake man to more than a decade in prison for conspiring to rob U.S. Postal Service employees.

According to federal prosecutors, O’Sirus Charles Landres Ford, 22, planned a scheme to steal arrow keys, master keys used by USPS mail carriers to access blue collection boxes. Ford was a member of a Facebook group that targets mail carriers and shares techniques related to fraud and theft.

Ford and several others rented a car on May 8, 2023, and the group targeted a mail carrier on Ballentine Boulevard in Norfolk. One of the conspirators, a minor, pointed a gun at the transporter and took his ID card and keys.

The next day, Ford recruited Jayden Stukes, 21, of Suffolk, and Da’Twan Watson, 24, of Chesapeake, to steal postal keys on the Peninsula. The initial target was the downtown Newport News post office, but the three changed direction and headed toward Hampton. All three were armed.

“Ford and Watson exited the vehicle to continue tracking the transporter on foot, and Stukes remained in the car with the driver and relayed details about the transporter’s location,” prosecutors said in a news release.

When the two men approached the transporter on Galax Street, only Ford was armed. He threatened to shoot the transporter if the keys were not given, and Ford and Watson returned to the getaway car with the arrow key. Ford pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and one count of using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during the commission of a felony of violence. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

In fiscal year 2022, there were 412 thefts from on-duty mail carriers and 305 in the first half of fiscal year 2023, according to court documents. Since 2022, the Postal Service has increased security on collection boxes to protect them against mail theft, and the keys are sold on the black market for thousands of dollars.

Eliza Noé, [email protected]