Archive for the ‘Post Office’ Category

Oakland man faces life without parole in 2018 Antioch double murder

Wednesday, November 15th, 2023

By Ted Asregadoo, PIO, Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office

A jury in Martinez returned guilty verdicts on November 9th for a double murder that took place in Antioch in 2018. (See related articles here and here)

Dontay Javon Williams, a 40-year-old resident of Oakland, has been found guilty of the murders of Milan Ardoin, 28, and her mother, Valinda Scott, 55. At the time, Milan Ardoin was in a relationship with Williams but had communicated her intention to end the relationship over email exchanges. In the early morning hours of July 5, 2018, Williams traveled from Oakland to Antioch, where he fatally shot both Ardoin and Scott outside their residence before fleeing on foot.

While Antioch Police officers were investigating the shooting and canvassing the neighborhood to speak with witnesses, Williams’ wallet — a key piece of evidence – was found on a sidewalk near where the murders occurred.

Williams was convicted of two counts of murder and enhancements for intentionally discharging a handgun, lying in wait, and multiple murders. Moreover, Williams was convicted of possession of a firearm with a prior violent conviction for robbery in Oakland in 2005.

Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Tompkins, who prosecuted the case, said, “For the loved ones who lost two family members in one tragic morning, and who waited years for their day in court, this verdict is a chance to move forward in their long healing process.”

When Williams is sentenced, he faces life without the possibility of parole.

According to the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department, his next court appearance is scheduled for January 19, 2024.

Case No. 05001922558 | The People of the State of California vs. Williams, Dontay Javon

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report

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.