A Long Island man was sentenced for stealing mail — some of which had checks valued at $50,000 — from United States Post Office mailboxes in Queens, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Travis Everett aka Lamont Everett, 26, of Brentwood, pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possession of stolen property before the Queens Criminal Court in October. He was sentenced to serve one to three years in prison.
“This defendant made a business out of mailbox fishing. Using rat glue traps and shoe strings, he reeled in hundreds of pieces of mail containing checks endorsed for tens of thousands of dollars,” said acting District Attorney John M. Ryan. “The defendant was caught in the act at one specific box, but he apparently dropped his fish line at various mailboxes here in Queens and was caught in Manhattan depositing stolen checks. This kind of brazen thievery is unacceptable and after admitting to his crimes, the defendant is going to prison.”
According to charges, at 1:38 a.m. on Nov. 8, 2018, Everett was seen on a monitored NYPD live video feed approaching a blue mailbox at 108th Street and 63rd Drive in Rego Park. Everett then placed an object in the box and pulled mail from inside the box by pulling on an attached string. He repeated this process several times over a 5 minute period.
When Everett was caught and questioned by the police, he said, in sum and substance, that he had dropped his keys in the mailbox.
Charges say that Everett had two batteries attached to a rat adhesive trap with a shoe string. Police also found four pieces of mail on floor of Everett’s car, as well as 32 checks in the glove compartment and 314 checks were inside the trunk. The value of the recovered checks totaled more than $300,000 and some of the recovered checks had been fraudulently altered.
Further investigation found that two of the recovered checks — which originally were written out in the amounts of $41,202 and $52,639 — had been mailed from Fresh Meadows. Another victim had endorsed several checks, including one for $1,757, and dropped them in a mailbox on Flatbush Avenue and Avenue R in Brooklyn.
In addition to his Queens charges, Everett pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument before the Manhattan Criminal Court on Nov. 9. Between September and October 2016, Everett was captured on bank surveillance video depositing stolen and subsequently forged checks into bank accounts belonging to complicit account holders, and withdrawing the illicit funds from these accounts on six separate occasions.
Everett is set to be sentenced on Jan. 8, 2020, and faces up to three years in prison, to run concurrent with his sentence in Queens.