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Global Security & Investigations

U.S. Mail comprises nearly 50% of the world’s total mail volume, and a significant amount of that mail is sent to or from countries around the globe. Global Security and Investigations (GSI) is responsible for securing U.S. Mail (including military and diplomatic mail) transiting to and from foreign postal administrations and U.S. installations overseas, protecting postal revenues generated by international business development, acting as Inspection Service liaison to foreign stakeholders and international organizations, and ensuring that the sanctity of the mail and justice is not hindered by national borders. Working with foreign postal administrations, international organizations like the Universal Postal Union, and law enforcement entities, GSI strives to improve security of the mail worldwide and protect society from criminal enterprises that use the mail to further their schemes. Supports and enhances United States Postal Service efforts in providing an efficient, reliable, safe, and secure international mail service.

Postal Inspector Victoria Fussell of the San Francisco Division initiated a criminal investigation of a California company after finding USPS pallets at a recycling plant loaded with what appeared to be mail matter.
Missing in Action

MTE Recovery Efforts by Postal Inspectors Save USPS Millions of Dollars

Every year, the Postal Service spends millions of dollars to replace Mail Transport Equipment (MTE) that leaks out of the Postal Service network. With pallets costing up to $20 each, letter trays up to $2.75 per tray and tubs costing around $4 each, losses add up quickly. Replacing missing equipment cost the Postal Service $50 million last year.

To help the Postal Service reel in wayward equipment and to prosecute violators, Postal Inspectors launched the Equipment Recovery Project in 2008. Since then, Inspectors have recovered almost 200,000 pieces of MTE, including pallets, trays and tubs, worth more than $4 million. The items were reclaimed from businesses ranging from a New England fish market to California recycling firms.

Criminal prosecution for theft or misuse of postal property, a federal crime that carries a penalty of up to 3 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000, was also initiated in several cases.

  • A Georgia man, who worked for a major mailer, was arrested for stealing and selling almost 10,000 Postal Service pallets to a pallet supply company. The company provided pallets to freight companies doing business in South America. The suspect made restitution of $10,129 to the Postal Service.
  • In a related case, a woman who was an employee of an air express transportation subcontractor for major mailers was arrested for selling 3,520 pallets to a pallet consultant company.
  • The owner of a Florida pallet company that sold more than 21,000 pallets belonging to the Postal Service was arrested by Postal Inspectors in Florida. He was aware that the pallets belonged to the Postal Service and that the sale of those pallets was illegal. 16,000 additional pallets were returned to the Postal Service. The defendant was sentenced in federal court to five months in prison and he and his company pled guilty and were ordered to make $419,206 in restitution to the Postal Service.
  • Prosecution is pending in a current investigation in California where Postal Inspectors found approximately 7,500 pallets, valued at over $200,000, at a recycling company,

Individuals who are aware of the misuse of postal equipment are encouraged to contact the Postal Inspection Service at (877.876.2455) or the mail transport equipment recovery hotline (866.330.3404) and email address (hqmte@usps.gov).