Opening other people's mail brings prison for Muskegon postal worker

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - A former Muskegon County postal employee who admitted to opening other people’s mail last year was sentenced Wednesday to two months in federal prison.

Samantha Rose Gentz, 24, admitted to opening about 15 letters in May, 2015.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Maloney ordered that she serve 18 months on supervised release once her prison term is completed. She’s also on the hook for $250 in restitution.

Gentz pleaded guilty March 31 to a federal charge of unlawfully opening mail culled from her route.

She came under scrutiny after postal officials began getting complaints about packages disappearing from her routes, court records show. Gentz was hired in June, 2014.

The Postal Service placed a “test envelope’’ in her carrier case addressed to Jerri Tomlin, court records show. The test envelope contained a transmitter. She opened the test envelope and approximately 15 other letters entrusted to her, court records show.

Gentz was indicted in January on two counts of unlawfully opening mail, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

As part of a plea deal, the government will not prosecute Gentz’s theft in 2014-15 of mail packages containing approximately 360 units of hydrocodone, according to a plea agreement. Hydrocodone is an opioid pain medication.

“Samantha is extremely remorseful; she knows she did a stupid thing,’’ defense attorney David L. Kaczor wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “Not only was it a dumb thing to do, but it was also out of character.’’


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