A former Postal Service mail handler admitted in federal district court yesterday that he stole 2,200 video games contained in envelopes addressed to Philadelphia-area residents.
Reginald Johnson, 34, of Germantown, faces from 12 to 18 months in prison under preliminary advisory sentencing guidelines. U.S. District Judge Berle M. Schiller set sentencing for Jan. 13.
Authorities said Johnson was a mail-processing clerk who unloaded mail from tractor-trailers docked at the processing and distribution center in Philadelphia.
The feds said Johnson stole the video games, valued at $86,000, between April and September 2008.
The games were sent by GameFly, a company that rents online video games to subscribers through the mail for $15.95 or $22.95 a month.
The Postal Service's Office of Inspector General began receiving reports in late 2007 of missing GameFly mailings in Philadelphia, the government's plea memo said.
On Sept. 5, 2008, the inspector general conducted a surveillance operation of the center using test mailings.
Based on the surveillance, officials determined that Johnson was the culprit, the plea memo said.
Federal agents tried to arrest Johnson later that day as he entered his SUV in the center's parking lot, but Johnson sped off and later crashed his vehicle, the plea memo said.
Authorities said Johnson abandoned his car and fled into a neighboring yard with a duffel bag, which later was recovered.
The agents found 81 GameFly mailings inside the duffel bag. When they searched Johnson's SUV, they found a dark backpack containing 79 GameFly mailings.
Also in the SUV were five Nintendo Wii Sports, three Wii Fits, a Playstation console, game controllers and receipts from a business called GameStop.
GameStop customers can trade in used game DVDs to GameStop for store credit, which then can be used to buy other gaming equipment, such as Nintendo Wii consoles, the plea memo said.