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4 men charged in connection to mail thefts in St. Louis area

All four men face a $250,000 fine and various prison sentences for the crimes.

ST. LOUIS — Four men from St. Louis County are charged in relation to recent mail thefts in the St. Louis area. 

Tahj K. Boyd, 19, from St. Louis County; 18-year-old James R. Townsend, from Ferguson; Dwaundre K. Valley, 19, of Bridgeton; and 19-year-old Dennis Cooperwood Jr., from Country Club Hills, are all charged with various crimes related to mail thefts in St. Louis County, according to a press release from the U.S. Eastern District Attorney. 

Boyd and Townsend were indicted Sept. 21 on one felony charge of mail theft. The men are accused of stealing mail Sept. 1 from United States Postal Service collection boxes outside the post office at Town and Country Commons Drive in Town and Country, according to the release.

Valley, who was also indicted Sept. 21, faces three felony counts of bribery of a public official, the release said. Valley allegedly offered three different postal carriers money in exchange for the keys to open certain mail collection boxes.

On March 4, Valley allegedly approached a postal worker in St. Ann, the news release said. On April 15, he is accused of making another offer of similar nature to a worker in Florissant, and on April 20 he allegedly tried similar methods to gain the keys from a postal carrier in Maryland Heights. 

Cooperwood Jr. was indicted Oct. 12 on a felony charge of possession of stolen mail matter, the release stated. According to his indictment, on April 12 Cooperwood was accused of having 179 personal and business checks in his possession that had been stolen from a mail collection box.

Cooperwood, Boyd and Townsend could each face prison time of up to five years, a $250,000 fine, or both prison time and a fine for the charges of mail theft and possession of stolen mail matter, the release said.

Valley faces up to 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both, for the bribery charges. 

"Today’s arrests are the result of the well-coordinated investigative efforts between Postal Inspectors and our local and federal law enforcement partners," Acting Inspector in Charge Kai Pickens, who heads the St. Louis Field Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, said in the release. “The Inspection Service is firmly committed to bringing to justice, those who choose to steal mail and victimize the good citizens of St. Louis.”

"We wish to thank all of our local, state and federal law enforcement partners for the coordinated effort in bringing this investigation to a successful conclusion," James Cavins, chief of the Town and Country Police Department, said in the release.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Town and Country Police Department and a U.S. Marshals Service task force that includes the St. Louis County Police Department all investigated the mail theft cases, the release said.

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