An ex-mail carrier from Pulaski plead guilty today in federal court to stealing mail from her route.
Among the items stolen are narcotics addressed to Christiansburg patients of the Salem VA Medical Center as well as gift cards and cash.
46-year-old Teresa Webb was employed as an auxiliary mail carrier with the United Postal Service in Christiansburg for eight years.
Webb admitted that she had been stealing mail for about six months. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Pat Hogeboom, Webb stole between $400 and $500 in cash, in addition to more than $200 in gift cards and other items.
Webb was discovered after VA patients complained that they were not receiving their prescribed narcotics. The prescriptions had been mailed from the Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy in North Charleston, South Carolina to the patients in the Christiansburg area. After the multiple complaints, a Veteran Affairs investigator contacted the United Postal Service for assistance.
On April 6th, 2010 Postal Inspectors conducted live surveillance on Webb while she was delivering mail on her route. During the investigation they noticed that web had opened mail. When she was confronted by agents they discovered over forty-eight rifled mail pieces in Webb's vehicle.
$70 was recovered as well as other mailed items.
Webb told investigators that bins at the USPS facility are labeled for each route. She admitted to taking VA medication packages from various mail bins and placing the packages in the bin for her mail route in order to prevent being detected.
Webb says she only took pain medication for her own personal use. She said if she opened a package and was not familiar with the medication, she would discard the packaging in a dumpster or trash can.
Investigators say that she stole around 44 packages mailed by the VA hospital.
Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
Webb faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.