GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A postal employee who opened mail in search of cash and gift cards “abused his position of public trust’’ and “damaged the public’s faith in government,’’ a federal prosecutor said.
For 1½ years, Daniel Mansager pawed through the mail, taking items ranging from a $5 McDonald’s gift card inserted in a valentine to $25 snatched from a grandmother’s birthday card.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Castle said Mansager’s conduct “hindered the Postal Service’s noble mission of binding the people of this nation together through correspondence.’’
“True, the amounts he took were relatively small,’’ Castle wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “But for the same reason, the impact of his crime was especially personal.’’
Mansager, who lives in Hastings, was charged in December with unauthorized opening of mail, a one-year misdemeanor.
The thefts occurred in Kent and Barry counties between February of 2018 and July of 2019, federal court records show.
Mansager pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge. A federal magistrate judge this week placed him on probation for one year and hit him with a $5,000 fine. Mansager also has to pay nearly $400 in restitution.
Mansager was employed by the United States Postal Service when he opened mail “for the purpose of removing money, gift cards, and items of value contained inside,’’ federal court records show.
Although the total amount taken is unknown, investigators say it was, at least, nearly $400. Ten victims are identified in court records, mostly in Hastings. Losses range from $5 to $100.
Mansager has no known criminal history and has taken responsibility for his conduct, Castle wrote in a sentencing memorandum.
In a letter to the court, Mansager apologized for his behavior.
“My actions were horrible and incredibly embarrassing to not only myself, but my entire family,’’ Mansager wrote. “I am deeply and incredibly sorry for what I have done.’’
He told the judge he resigned from the post office and has since taken a job as a machinist in Grand Rapids.
“I will continue to learn and grow from this experience and can only hope that my family and society will be able to forgive me some day.’’
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