Robber Sentenced to 24 Months for Stealing Letters From U.S. Mail Truck

OAKLAND – Craig Curtis Freeman was sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment for breaking and entering a U.S. Postal Service mail truck and mail theft, announced United States Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Inspector in Charge Rafael Nuñez. The sentence was handed down on May 29, 2024, by the Honorable Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr., U.S. District Judge.

Freeman, 35, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement on the same day he was sentenced. Court filings describe how on December 30, 2022, a mail carrier, while on his route, heard a gunshot and observed two people – Freeman and a co-defendant – taking mail from his mail truck and then fleeing in a vehicle. In his plea agreement, Freeman admitted that he had been driving a stolen car when he pulled up behind the U.S. Postal Service mail truck and exited his vehicle. Freeman admitted he broke the lock of the truck’s rear cargo door, removed more than 700 pieces of mail, placed it into the stolen car and drove away. Within minutes, law enforcement caught up with Freeman, who was still with the co-defendant, and attempted a traffic stop. The defendants’ vehicle crashed into a truck after which both thieves fled from the scene; Freeman jumped into the truck and his co-defendant continued to flee in the stolen car. Freeman drove the truck at a high rate of speed through the streets of San Leandro before entering I-880 North through the exit off-ramp. Freeman was able to evade police while driving the stolen truck in the wrong direction on the freeway but was later apprehended. The co-defendant, who fled in the stolen car Freeman initially drove, was quickly apprehended after crashing and attempting to flee on foot.

A federal grand jury indicted Freeman on March 28, 2023, charging him with breaking and entering into a carrier facility, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2117, and possession of stolen mail and mail theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1708. Freeman pleaded guilty to both counts.

This case was charged in 2023 as part of a law enforcement response to an uptick in burglaries, robberies, assaults, and homicides targeting postal workers. The law enforcement surge was announced at a press conference on October 10, 2023, at which U.S. Attorney Ramsey and Postal Inspector in Charge Nuñez discussed the crimes and the federal response to them. Postal Inspector in Charge Nuñez stated, “there is no more important mission for us as federal agents than protecting postal workers from crime and violence …. To any copycats or wannabes out there who might consider robbing a postal worker, I ask you to consider the years you will face in federal prison, the price on your head, and that postal inspectors will not stop hunting you. The proceeds of this crime are not worth your freedom.” U.S. Attorney Ramsey reinforced Postal Inspector in Charge Nuñez’s remarks by explaining that federal laws have been “carefully crafted to protect the sanctity of the mail, including the sensitive information we entrust to the mail system; the safety of the federal employees and contractors who deliver the mail; and the federal property that is used to ensure mail delivery.”

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Johnson prosecuted the case with the assistance of Beth Margen. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, and the Oakland Police Department.