MISSOULA – A former U.S. Postal Service employee who admitted to stealing gift cards from the mail was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay $440 restitution, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson announced Wednesday.
Lassana Diaby, 54, pleaded guilty in January to an indictment charging him with theft of mail by officer or employee, a felony.
The government alleged in court documents that on March 26, 2021, a U.S. Postal Service customer reported items were stolen from a birthday card that was sent to his locking mailbox in Missoula.
The sender confirmed that she mailed the card on March 20, 2021, from Whitefish and that it contained a $200 gift card to Costco, two $100 gift cards to Amazon and $40 cash. An investigation determined that Diaby presented his Costco membership card and the gift card to complete a purchase at the Costco in Missoula.
At the time, Diaby worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a mail processing clerk and completed night shifts on March 20 to 23, including working several hours in the manual letter sorting section.
U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen — who presided over the case — followed recommendations in a plea agreement and imposed a probationary sentence, Johnson stated in a news release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla E. Painter prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.