Archive for the ‘Bay Area’ Category

Explore regional parks on “Green Friday” Nov. 24

Friday, November 17th, 2023

All entrance activity fees waived in East Bay Regional Parks

By Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor, Public Affairs, East Bay Regional Park District

Thursday, November 16, 2023 (Oakland, CA) – Celebrate Green Friday, November 24, with an East Bay Regional Parks FREE Park Day. Green Friday provides healthy and fun ways to enjoy the day after Thanksgiving with family and friends.

On Green Friday, all entrance activity fees are waived in Regional Parks, including parking, dogs, horses, boat launching, and fishing, as well as entrance to Ardenwood Historic Farm. The fee waiver does not include state fees for fishing licenses and watercraft inspections or concessions, such as the Tilden Merry-Go-Round and Redwood Valley Railway steam train.

For the past nine years, the East Bay Regional Park District has celebrated Green Friday to encourage the public to spend time in nature.

Green Friday activities in Regional Parks include:

Hike It Off, 9:00 a.m. – Reinhardt Redwood, Oakland

Fall Scavenger Hunt, 9:00 a.m. – Sunol, Sunol

Green Friday Hike, 10:00 a.m. – Del Valle, Livermore

History Hike ABOVE the Mines!, 10:00 a.m. – Black Diamond Mines, Antioch

Farm Chores for Kids, 10:30 a.m. – Ardenwood, Fremont

Meet The Bunnies, 11:30 a.m. – Ardenwood, Fremont

Stilts, 1:30 p.m. – Ardenwood, Fremont

Woodland Wonderland, 3:30 p.m. – Del Valle, Livermore

For more information about Green Friday, visit

The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and over 1,300 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and environmental education. The Park District receives more than 25 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.

MTC, Lyft announce plans to grow, improve Bay Wheels Regional Bikeshare System

Friday, November 17th, 2023
Photo by Joey Kotfica

Lower prices, thousands more e-bikes and 55 mew stations

By John Goodwin & Laura Krull, Metropolitan Transportation Commission

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Lyft announced on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023, a drop in both annual membership prices for the Bay Area’s Bay Wheels regional bikeshare program and members’ e-bike usage fees, as well as the addition of more than 2,000 next generation e-bikes to the Bay Wheels fleet and the rollout of 55 additional docking stations in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville. These measures are aimed at improving Bay Wheels’ long-term sustainability by growing ridership and reducing operational costs. 

Beginning today, the cost of an annual Bay Wheels membership will drop to $150 from $169 and the cost for members to use a Bay Wheels e-bike will drop to 15 cents per minute from 20 cents per minute. In addition, monthly members will now automatically transition to an annual membership at no additional cost when they renew for five consecutive months. MTC next year will launch a pilot program to provide reduced-cost annual memberships for Bay Area college students.

“Bikesharing, and e-bikes in particular, play a central role in our Plan Bay Area 2050 strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” explained MTC Chair and Napa County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza. “The Commission this year committed $20 million of federal climate investment money to promote the use of e-bikes for more of the short trips Bay Area residents make each day. These improvements to the Bay Wheels system are a big part of that commitment.” 

The expansion of Bay Wheels’ e-bike fleet will begin this week in San Jose and San Francisco, with the addition of e-bikes to Bay Wheels locations in Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville expected to begin in the coming months, pending local approval. E-bikes’ ability to climb hills, travel longer distances, and attract riders of varying physical abilities have made them a transformational mobility option for Bay Area residents and visitors alike. 

“E-bikes are perfect for San Francisco — they make our steep hills flat. We’re grateful to MTC and Lyft for helping make e-bikes more accessible to more people,” said Jeff Tumlin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. 

Bay Wheels’ existing e-bikes are used three times as often as classic pedal bikes. The system’s new generation e-bikes have double the battery life, a more powerful motor for going uphill, improved stability and ergonomics, and better theft deterrents. These new bikes will exclusively dock in stations to improve predictability and availability for riders.

“I’m thrilled that Lyft and MTC are helping San Jose expand access to alternative modes of transportation in our growing downtown,” said Mayor Matt Mahan. “E-bikes are a fun and affordable way to get around the city and they have the wonderful benefit of reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions.”

“We are ready and eager to help make MTC’s plan a reality to strengthen Bay Wheels and benefit the regional transportation network,” said Caroline Samponaro, Vice President of Transit and Micromobility Public Policy at Lyft. “Our shared goal is get more people to choose bikes for their transportation needs and we’re taking action on the three things that will make the greatest impact: lower prices for members, new hill-climbing e-bikes and a more robust station network.” 

To enhance the growth of Bay Wheels’ e-bike fleet, MTC and Lyft are piloting grid-connected charging stations using Lyft’s next generation station technology. Electrified stations improve e-bike availability for riders by increasing the number of bikes with sufficient battery charge and making operations more efficient. E-bike batteries currently are charged in a warehouse and manually swapped at the station.

MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Launched in 2017, Bay Wheels is the Bay Area’s regional bikeshare program with over 6,000 bicyles  —  both pedal-powered and pedal-assist electrict bikes — at more than 500 stations in San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville. Lyft operates the Bay Wheels program under a contract managed by MTC. 

American Red Cross of the Bay Area announces 2023 Red Cross Gala honorees

Wednesday, November 15th, 2023

Regional Blood Services Volunteer Committee and Delta Dental to be recognized for outstanding contributions at 29th Annual Gala

Now in its 29th year, the Red Cross Gala is a volunteer-led fundraiser dedicated to recognizing local heroes and supporting the Red Cross mission. This signature fundraising event, themed “Building Bridges of Hope,” will take place on Thursday, March 21, 2024 at Pier 27 in San Francisco and will celebrate its 2023 Honorees: Delta Dental and the Regional Blood Services Volunteer Committee.

 “As Co-Chair of this year’s Gala, I am honored to stand alongside individuals and organizations committed to making a difference” said Pat Hayes, who is serving alongside fellow Co-Chair Elizabeth J. Folger. “We hope you can join us for an unforgettable night where we not only applaud the accomplishments of the Red Cross but also inspire each other to continue the journey of positive change.”


During the black-tie event, the Red Cross will present new and seasoned volunteers Michael Gregory, Kathryn W. Holmes, Nichole Jordan and Jasper Smith with the 2023 Red Cross Humanitarians of the Year Award for their work as members of the Regional Blood Services Volunteer Committee. Collectively, this committee has dedicated their time and talent to the Red Cross and supported Blood Services by donating blood, hosting blood drives, providing financial contributions and innovative ideas. This team is wholeheartedly committed to the Red Cross mission and serves as an inspiration to the organization.

“The committee’s commitment to our mission and their tireless dedication to saving lives is truly remarkable,” shared Justin Mueller, Donor Services Executive for the Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region. “We are honored to recognize their selfless efforts, and we extend our heartfelt thanks as they serve as an inspiration to make an impact within our community.”

The Red Cross will also recognize Delta Dental as the 2023 Red Cross Philanthropic Company of the Year. “Delta Dental is proud to support the mission of the American Red Cross and honored to receive the 2024 Red Cross Philanthropic Company of the Year Award,” said Kenzie Ferguson, Vice President of Foundation and Corporate Social Responsibility for Delta Dental of California and affiliates. “Our partnership not only underscores our commitment to building resilient communities but also amplifies the efforts of the Red Cross in times of need.”

A major financial supporter for 34 years, Delta Dental has been a Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program partner since 2017, pledging $500,000 in annual giving, ensuring that the Red Cross is ready to respond whenever disaster strikes. But their dedication doesn’t stop there: they’re involved in other meaningful ways, including hosting blood drives and employee engagement events, building personal hygiene kits, providing skill-based volunteers for our Code4Good program, a first-of-its-kind volunteer workforce that gives software engineers and engineering leaders an opportunity to support the Red Cross, and engaging board members.
SPONSORS AND SUPPORTERS Hosted by Co-Chairs Patrick “Pat” Hayes and Elizabeth J. Folger, the 2024 Red Cross Gala will feature a cocktail reception, a three-course dinner curated by Componere Fine Catering, a live auction and entertainment. Since its inception, this fundraiser’s purpose has remained steadfast: to celebrate and sustain the lifesaving programs and services of the Red Cross. All proceeds raised through this event will support Red Cross Blood Services. The Gala is made possible by Gold Sponsor Delta Dental and Honorary Committee Members, Juan Benitez, Kathryn W. Holmes and Nichole Jordan.

To view our full list of Gala committee members and additional event details, please visit

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds, and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or find us on Facebook.

Avoid travel headaches: Check 511 during APEC 2023 Summit Nov. 13-19

Sunday, November 12th, 2023
Photos: MTC

Two lanes of Bay Bridge will be closed.

Various ramps and ped/bike path closures scheduled along I-80 and U.S. 101 in San Francisco due to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2023 Summit

Information from MTC, CalTrans & CHP

People traveling to, from and within San Francisco next week can expect heavy congestion and traffic delays; transit reroutes, delays and crowding; and reduced or inconvenient pedestrian and bicycle access during the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2023 Summit taking place in the city from Monday, Nov. 13, through Sunday, Nov. 19. 

APEC is expected to draw more than 20,000 people, including heads of state and dignitaries from over 20 member economies, to downtown San Francisco. MTC encourages people to avoid traveling to San Francisco next week if possible. For those who must travel to or through the city, MTC encourages them to ride transit and to visit for critical travel alerts related to street closures and transportation delays. 

 In cooperation with the California Highway Patrol, and in coordination with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, Caltrans is implementing enhanced safety measures throughout our highway systems in and around San Francisco during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2023 summit starting Wednesday, November 15. The U.S. Secret Service recently designated the APEC summit as a National Special Security Event, requiring heightened security measures in and around the city of San Francisco.

Closures: At the request of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, Caltrans will be implementing the following closures to ensure the safety and security of all attendees and residents:

San Francisco / Oakland Bay Bridge

Closures of #1 (left) lane on Eastbound I-80 and #5 (right) lane on Westbound I-80

o Tuesday, November 14 through Friday, November 17, 2023.

o 4 Day Closure, beginning 11/14 at 5:00 AM, ending 11/17 at 9:00 PM.

o Controlled access to Bay Bridge Ped/Bike Path.

o No impacts to transit bus services.

o Treasure Island on-/off-ramps, Fremont Street off-ramp remain open.

Closures of 4th Street off-ramp from Eastbound I-80 and 5th Street off-ramp from Westbound I-80

o Wednesday, November 15 through Friday, November 17, 2023.

o 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM (Daily).

Closure of NB U.S. 101 Dana Bowers Vista Point off-ramp

o Tuesday, November 14 through Saturday, November 18 (Five Day Closure).

o No access to Dana Bowers Vista Point for vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians.

o Golden Gate Bridge Pedestrian Path closed at north end of bridge; no pedestrian access from Marin County.

o Bicycle Path on west side of bridge to remain open between Marin County and San Francisco.

California Highway Patrol officers will be present to enforce these closures. We understand that these closures may cause temporary inconvenience, but they are essential to ensure the safety and security of this significant event and to promote immediacy and availability for emergency response. We encourage you to plan your travels, accordingly, allow extra time for your commute, and consider using alternative routes or public transportation during this period. Your patience and cooperation are greatly appreciated as we work to ensure the success of the APEC 2023 summit and the safety of our community.

Muni will reroute several transit lines from Nov. 13-19, and Muni Metro T-Third service will be suspended. For more details, visit SFMTA’s APEC information page. BART, Caltrain and the San Francisco Bay Ferry do not anticipate any major APEC-related impacts to their services.

For the Golden Gate Bridge, the Dana Bowers Vista Point off-ramp from northbound U.S. 101 will be closed from Nov. 14-18. There will be no access to the Vista Point for vehicles, bicyclists or pedestrians. The Golden Gate Bridge Pedestrian Path will be closed at north end of bridge, and there will be no pedestrian access from Marin County.

Most APEC activities will take place in the South of Market and Nob Hill neighborhoods. Due to the scale of the gathering, APEC also may create travel impacts on travel in other areas. People should expect a range of street impacts in and around the United States Secret Service security zones (Vehicle Exclusion Zones)(link is external) established for the conference and conference-related events. Pedestrians will be banned from APEC security zones unless they live or work there; and bicycles, whether traditional or e-bikes, also will be barred.

For 24/7 traffic updates, please visit  MTC operates 511 in partnership with Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol and other transportation agencies.

For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans QuickMap:

Antioch pair charged in connection to S.F. Union Square smash and grab

Monday, November 6th, 2023

Female was also arrested two days earlier for grand, petty theft in Pleasant Hill; male also arrested in 2017, 2022

By San Francisco District Attorney’s Office

San Francisco, CA – District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announced today that Ahjanae Woods (23) and Terry Nichols (28), both of Antioch, have been charged in connection to the early morning smash and grab at Christian Dior in Union Square on October 12, 2023.

Ms. Woods and Mr. Nichols were arraigned on October 16, 2023, and each pled not guilty to one count of second-degree commercial burglary (PC 459), one count of grand theft (PC 487(a), one count of organized retail theft (PC 490.4(a)(1)), one count of conspiracy (PC 182(a)) and one count of resisting arrest (PC 148(a)(1)).

“The early morning smash and grab at Christian Dior is one more example of how brazen some thieves have become,” said District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. “This conduct is completely unacceptable and will be prosecuted vigorously. I would also like to thank the San Francisco Police Department for their swift action in responding to this incident and arresting these suspects. We will not let up on our efforts to improve public safety and demonstrate our resolve to those who choose to engage in criminal activity in our community.”

As listed in the overt acts of the conspiracy charge, it is alleged that at approximately 6:50AM on October 12, 2023, Ms. Woods and Mr. Nichols, along with other uncharged co-conspirators, arrived in three vehicles to the Union Square neighborhood and first tried to break into Fendi at 195 Grant Street. The group then broke the gate and doors at Christian Dior at 185 Post Street where they stole numerous handbags and other merchandise.

Ms. Woods and Mr. Nichol’s next court date is October 27, 2023, for the preliminary hearing in this matter. The District Attorney’s Office moved to detain Ms. Woods and Mr. Nichols pending trial because of the public safety risk they pose. The court granted the motion to detain Ms. Woods and Mr. Nichols without prejudice. The court will hear further arguments on the People’s motion to detain at the time of the preliminary hearing in this case.

Although charges have been filed, this remains an active investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the San Francisco Police Department Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.

According to Nichols was also arrested in 2017 and 2022 by Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department for changing, altering, removing and/or obliterating ID marks on a firearm and for addict in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

As previously reported by the Herald, Woods was among 11 individuals arrested in Pleasant Hill on Oct. 10, 2023, for grand theft and petty theft.

Court Number: Woods, 23016759, Nichols 23016752

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

Antioch, Richmond men convicted of robbery in series of organized SF retail thefts

Sunday, October 29th, 2023

By San Francisco District Attorney’s Office

On Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announced that Delandro Belvine-Brown (22) of Antioch, and Sean Raquel Jevonce Simon, Jr. (24) of Richmond, were each sentenced to three years imprisonment after pleading guilty in San Francisco Superior Court to committing robbery in violation of Penal Code Section 211, in relation to a series of retail thefts occurring in San Francisco.

“Retail theft continues to have a major impact on San Francisco’s business community and the city’s economic livelihood. These crimes demand accountability and we need to send the message to others involved in this criminal enterprise that, with the support of our local law enforcement partners, our office will continue to pursue and prosecute those involved,” said District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. “With San Francisco Police Department receiving $15.3 million dollars and our office receiving $2 million from the Organized Retail Theft Prevention Grant Program, law enforcement agencies in San Francisco will continue to identify, investigate, and prosecute all levels of this criminal enterprise.”

In this case, the People alleged that Mr. Belvine-Brown and Mr. Simon were a part of an organized group which committed a series of snatch-and-grab thefts and robberies from Sunglass Hut, LensCrafters, and Veo Optics stores in San Francisco from November 1, 2021, through July 1, 2022. By employing a consistent brazen theft strategy, Mr. Belvine-Brown, Mr. Simon, and others entered the store as a group, rapidly grabbed numerous expensive sunglasses from display shelves, and quickly exited the store and got in an awaiting car. Investigators from SFPD and Brentwood Police Department conducted a joint investigation as there were similar thefts that occurred in Contra Costa County. Investigators from both agencies examined evidence from multiple sources, including store surveillance videos, social media posts, and mobile phone records to identify the Defendants and their criminal activities.

The case against Mr. Belvine-Brown and Mr. Simon was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Conrad Del Rosario with support and assistance from District Attorney Inspector Lessa Vivian and Paralegal Chloe Mosqueda. This case was investigated by the San Francisco Police Department’s Burglary Unit and the Brentwood Police Department’s Investigation Division.

“Individuals who openly commit egregious and brazen retail crimes impact not only the store’s viability to stay open for their community, but also have long lasting effects on store employees and customers who are subjected to this blatant disregard for the law,” said Assistant District Attorney del Rosario. “These cases should serve as notice to those would-be thieves that law enforcement will aggressively investigate and prosecute their criminal activity in San Francisco.”

Belvine-Brown and Simon are currently in custody and will be transported to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s custody to begin serving their state prison sentences.

Court Number: Belvine-Brown, 22011459, Simon, 23003591

MTC, partners launch massive Bay Area Travel Survey effort

Thursday, October 12th, 2023

Thousands of invitations to be mailed

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 12, 2023 . . . The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) this fall is teaming with the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA), the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and other partners to conduct a major survey designed to learn more about how people travel throughout the Bay Area. Beginning today, some 750,000 households throughout the nine-county region will receive invitations to participate in what is known as the Bay Area Travel Study.

The Bay Area Travel Study is designed to help MTC and other transportation agencies plan for a more efficient and more effective regional transportation network.

“Our goal is a Bay Area that is affordable, connected, diverse, healthy and economically vibrant for all of our residents and is also a great place for all our region’s visitors to enjoy,” observed MTC Chair and Napa County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza. “Knowing more about how, when and why people go from place to place will help the Commission develop the right policies and make the smartest investments to achieve that goal.”

MTC expects to mail these invitations in four separate waves between now and December. Those who receive an invitation letter can expect to receive a follow-up postcard about a week later. A unique code will be provided to each household that accepts the invitation to participate, and each household will be assigned a date on which to start logging its travel activity in a survey diary. Respondents will be able to complete the study online, by phone, or through the rMoveTM smartphone app developed by RSG, a Vermont-based research firm hired by MTC as a consultant for the study.

MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. More information about the Bay Area Travel Study may be found on the MTC website at

Antioch teen among 3 charged by U.S. Attorney, Postal Inspector for alleged mail delivery interference

Tuesday, October 10th, 2023

Participated in at least two armed robberies of letter carriers, one in Antioch and one in San Francisco

Enforcement actions are coupled with announcement of $150,000 reward for information leading to arrest and conviction of additional suspects

By U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California

OAKLAND – Tuesday, October 10, 2023 – U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey and U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge Rafael Nuñez announced today that multiple arrests have been made in cases involving the interference with delivery of the U.S. mail. The announcement was made at a press conference held this morning at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building.

The theft of postal keys, break-ins of postal vehicles, assaults on letter carriers, and various other criminal acts involving interference with delivery of the mail and the alleged illegal possession of personally identifying information were all discussed at the press conference. According to U.S. Attorney Ramsey, defendants in each case now are facing severe federal penalties that make clear their alleged crimes were not worth the consequences. (See surveillance video released by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service of the alleged suspects, here and here)

“In each of the cases I will discuss,” said U.S. Attorney Ramsey, “the government alleges the defendants have violated federal criminal laws and, as a consequence, federal agents and local law enforcement has tracked them down . . .. The penalties for these crimes can be sobering.”

Inspector in Charge Nuñez reinforced the U.S. Attorney’s remarks and announced that the reward for information leading to arrest and conviction of any individual who robs or assaults a postal worker is now $150,000.

“There is no more important mission for us as federal agents than protecting postal workers from crime and violence,” said Inspector in Charge Nuñez. “To any copycats or wannabes out there who might consider robbing a postal worker, I ask you to consider the years you will face in federal prison, the price on your head, and that postal inspectors will not stop hunting you. The proceeds of this crime are not worth your freedom.”

U.S. Attorney Ramsey stated that most of the cases involved the theft of specialized postal keys that often grant access to large mailboxes or mail storage facilities. Holding one such postal key in his hand, U.S. Attorney Ramsey explained that federal laws have been “carefully crafted to protect the sanctity of the mail, including the sensitive information we entrust to the mail system; the safety of the federal employees and contractors who deliver the mail; and the federal property that is used to ensure mail delivery.” He then went on to describe how three of the defendants are alleged to have violated the law as follows:

•    Robert Devon Nicholson Bell, Jr., 19, of Antioch, Calif., is alleged to have participated in at least two armed robberies of letter carriers, one in Antioch and one in San Francisco. Allegations in the criminal complaint filed against the defendant describe Bell’s use of mail keys to steal mail from blue mailboxes. According to a criminal complaint, Bell was found in Antioch in possession of robbed postal keys, a substantial quantity of stolen mail, a fraudulent USPS ID with his picture, and stolen and counterfeit checks. He now faces a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison for the unlawful possession of the postal key, as well as 25 years for each of the armed robberies. (Case No. 23-mj-71439 MAG)

•    Anthony Medina, 42, of American Canyon, Calif., is alleged to have unlawfully possessed seven mail keys. According to the complaint, officers with the San Francisco Police Department were attempting to perform a traffic stop when the defendant attempted to flee. Officers arrested the defendant and, in addition to the keys, defendant is alleged to have possessed credit cards in the names of other individuals, images of suspected stolen mail, and access codes for an apartment complex in San Francisco. Medina now faces 10 years in prison for each violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1704—the unlawful possession of the postal keys, as well as possible prosecution for unlawful possession of mail and credit cards. (Case No. 23-mj-71443 MAG)

•    Derek Hopson, 33, of Oakland, Calif., is alleged to have stolen mail and postal keys in two separate incidents that occurred in June of 2023. The complaint alleges the San Francisco Police Department responded to a burglary in progress at a residence in the Mission District of San Francisco when officers encountered the defendant in possession of several postal keys. Hopson also allegedly used a mailbox key to gain access to mailboxes at a residential complex in the Presidio of San Francisco. He now faces a statutory maximum of 15 years in prison for violating 18 U.S.C. sections 1704 and 1706. (Case No. 23-mj-71403 MAG)

Indictments and criminal complaints merely allege that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Further, in addition to the prison terms described, as part of any sentence following conviction the court may order defendants to serve an additional term of supervised release to begin after a prison term, additional fines, and restitution, if appropriate. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

The prosecution of these cases are the result of investigations by the United States Postal Inspection Service.