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UNITED STATES POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE
Atlanta Division Public Information Officer


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2009

Contact  

Tony Robinson
Public Information Officer
U.S. Postal Inspection Service
P.O. Box 381388
Birmingham, AL 35238-1388
205-326-2908, Cell 205-837-0038

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 6, 2009

The Hunt Continues for Murderer of Highway Contract Driver

A murder of a postal highway contract driver occurred at the Camp Hill Post Office, Alabama, 36850, on Friday evening, October 2, 2009, between 5:40 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. Tips and information can be called in to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service National Law Enforcement Communication Center, NLECC, at 877-876-2455, option 2. Information can also be given the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department at 256-825-4264, or the Secret Witness Number at 256-827-2035.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service mobile command center has taken up residence behind the Opelika Post Office.

United States Postal Inspectors Mobile Command Center

On Tuesday morning, October 6, 2009, a mobile command center for investigating the murder of postal highway contract driver Tony Harrelson was established at the Opelika Post Office. A team of U.S. Postal Inspectors, Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett, and Camp Hill Police Chief Finley met to compare notes and plan the next steps in the investigation. After the meeting, Postal Inspectors along with their local law enforcement partners fanned out of the building, each having a specific task for moving the investigation one-step closer to solve the murder.

Nearly 27,000 flyers announcing that the U.S. Postal Service is offering up to $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or person responsible for the shooting death of highway contract driver Tony Harrelson of Dadeville have been delivered to businesses and homes. Another 30,000 reward flyers arrived at the Postal Inspection Service command center early Tuesday morning and a new wave of distribution has already begun.

"We are grieved by this tragic event. This gentleman was one of our valued postal employees, taking care of his family and working hard to ensure the American people receive timely, universal, service,” said William Mitchell, Alabama Postal District Manager; “I cannot begin to express the sorrow I feel with our losing of a member of our postal family. Our heartfelt sympathy and prayers are with his family and friends. All Alabama postal employees share their sorrow and we look forward to perpetrators being arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Crimes like this are rare on postal property. “Post Offices are part of the community as are the postal and contract employees that help keep the postal service going strong,” Assistant Postal Inspector in Charge Keith Morris said, “And the community can help keep their post office safe and possibly prevent another incident like this one by reporting suspicious activity to their local police and sheriff departments.”

Regarding the potential sentencing for this crime, Title 18, United States Code, Section 1111 states: “Whoever is guilty of murder in the first degree shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for life; Whoever is guilty of murder in the second degree, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life.”

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About the U.S. Postal Inspection Service
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is one of the oldest federal law enforcement agencies in the country. For more than 200 years, Postal Inspectors have protected the U.S. Postal Service, secured the nationís mail system, and ensured public trust in the mail. To learn more, visit http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov.

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