Iowa mail carrier gets probation for tossing it over bridge

AP News
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Posted: Mar 20, 2015 4:56 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former Des Moines mail carrier has been sentenced to a year of probation for throwing 63 pieces of mail off a bridge last May instead of delivering them.

Court documents show Shayne L. Lovelady, 29, agreed to plead guilty on Jan. 21 to "desertion of mail." Prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of mail destruction. He was sentenced Thursday.

Lovelady was working as a rural mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service delivering mail for the South Des Moines post office on May 19, documents filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Virginia Bruner in federal court in Des Moines said.

"Rather than deliver the mail or return the undelivered mail to another postal service employee, Lovelady 'pitched' approximately 63 pieces of various classes of mail over the side of a bridge before returning to South Des Moines Station," documents said.

Lovelady was immediately placed on off-duty status then fired July 26, said John Friess, a spokesman for the postal service in an email message.

The mail Lovelady tossed was later recovered and delivered, Friess said.

"The Postal Service prides itself on providing excellent customer service and consistently monitors and supervises the work habits and methods of our employees to protect the mails and ensure we are providing timely and efficient service to our customers," he said.

Lovelady was indicted Oct. 29. He faced a maximum sentence of a year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

He didn't immediately reply to an email message Friday and his telephone number was disconnected.

Prosecutors sought probation, home confinement with work privileges allowing him to travel to work, and community service.

"Lovelady has a pattern of taking the easy way out and using his position to defraud the community," Bruner wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed March 16.

In 2006, Lovelady pleaded guilty to fraudulent practices for unlawfully receiving unemployment benefits. He also pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a credit card after he bought two $300 Sears gift cards with someone else's credit card. He served 30 days in jail for violating his probation on both offenses when he failed to complete community service and pay restitution.

In September 2013 he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for striking his girlfriend in the face.

Senior Judge James Gritzner on Friday imposed a year of probation and a $25 mandatory assessment with no fine.