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Mail carrier sentenced for stealing mail on rural routes

More than 90 victims missing cash and gift cards
Gavel
Posted at 2:03 PM, Sep 28, 2023

HELENA — A carrier who delivered mail for the U.S. Postal Service was sentenced earlier this week after she admitted to stealing mail from her route in search of cash and gift cards from more than 90 victims, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris sentenced Katie Elizabeth Bowlds, 39, of Helena, to two years of probation and ordered $1,847 restitution. Bowlds pleaded guilty in April to possession of stolen mail.

“I hope the restitution ordered today will help make up for the missed birthday, anniversary, and special occasion gifts that Bowlds robbed from people, including kids, when she stole mail and rifled through greeting cards for cash and gift cards. Mail is necessarily private, and the public expects and deserves to have their mail delivered intact to its intended recipients. Bowlds’ actions eroded this trust, and I am pleased she is being held accountable for her criminal conduct,” U.S. Attorney Laslovich said.

The government alleged in court documents that in 2022, Bowlds worked as a contract delivery services carrier for the U.S. Postal Service on a rural route in Helena. In the spring of 2022, Bowlds stole hundreds of greeting cards from her postal route in search of cash and gift cards. Many of these greeting cards contained small denominations of cash and gift cards and were intended for birthdays, anniversaries and other life events. The cards never reached the intended recipients because of Bowlds’ thefts. Bowlds’ actions affected more than 90 victims.

In the sentencing memorandum in court documents, Bowlds acknowledged and regretted her wrongdoing and the harm she caused the victims. Bowlds told the court that she struggled with depression for several years and that a decline in her mental health as well as relationship, family and financial issues led her to commit the acts. She now takes medication and sees a counselor.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Betley prosecuted the case. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation.