SAN JOSE — A warrant was signed by U.S. Magistrate Howard R. Lloyd on June 23 for the arrest of 52-year-old Quan Pham Howard, who faces charges under 18 U.S.C. 1703 – Delaying or Destroying U.S. Mail, 18 U.S.C. 1708 – Theft of U.S. Mail, and 18 U.S.C. 1708 – Possession of U.S. Stolen Mail.
According to Special Agent Christine Hodakievic working with the Special Inquiries Division of the U.S. Postal Service, “Prior to January 2013, Howard instructed postal employees at the San Jose Processing and Distribution Center in San Jose, CA [the PDC] to notify him directly whenever cash, drugs, and other valuables (including electronics, jewelry, rare coins, precious metals, and other collectible memorabilia) were found loose in the mail [e.g. – separated from packaging during processing] at the PDC”.
Howard took into possession two silver bars March 28, 2013, and one copper bar on April 4, 2013 against US Postal Regulations. As a Supervisory Postal Inspector, Howard prevented the mail from being distributed, a violation of 18 U.S.C. 1703, Delaying or Destroying U.S. Mail.
Howard was using private room A-62 at the postal facility. Law enforcement agents had taken pictures of the room and items stored in the room that had been taken by Howard at a time prior to any cases regarding the mail being filed. It is believed from April 4, 2013 to September 1, 2013 items found in the room A-62, exclusively used by Howard, included a total of 130 prescription pill bottles labeled for sale as stimulants and/or depressants, jewelry, gun parts, multiple passports, five pocket watches including a civil war era pocket watch, and rare collectible gold and silver coins.
In order to hide his actions Howard had disabled the camera in room A-62 in order to privately inspect the loose mail for his own personal enjoyment. However, Howard was clearly seen through video surveillance removing the loose matter given to him by an employee working with authorities to record items being taken.
Howard continued to take items up until June of this year. It is believed that Howard also took numerous items from the facility to his home. After searching his personal trash, investigators found paper used to wrap “John F. Kennedy half-dollar 20” coins, a brown textured woven box that had contained a gold ring, and a black box once containing a Joan Rivers Classic Collection necklace with pendant. Surveillance video and images show Howard stealing cash, drugs, electronics, passports, jewelry, rare coins, precious metals, and other collectible memorabilia from the San Jose Postal Distribution Center.
San Jose Mercury News: Postal inspector charged with stealing cash, valuables from mail