Dec. 11, 2019 By Kristen Torres
A Long Island man has been sentenced to up to three years in prison after he was caught stealing mail — including checks totaling more than $300,000 — from United States postal boxes in Rego Park and throughout Queens.
Travis Everett aka Lamont Everett, 26, of Brentwood, Long Island, pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possession of stolen property in October, according to the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry S. Kron sentenced Everett to one to three years in prison on Tuesday.
According to the charges, Everett was caught on a NYPD live video feed removing mail from a blue mailbox on 108th Street and 63rd Drive in Rego Park in November 2018.
Everett placed an object inside the mailbox, pulled on an attached string, and was able to remove mail from the box, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Police said he had two batteries attached to a rat adhesive trap with a shoe string when they nabbed him.
When he was caught and questioned by police, Everett said he was attempting to retrieve his keys which he said fell inside the mailbox.
“The defendant made a business out of mailbox fishing,” said Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan. “The defendant was caught in the act at one specific box, but he apparently dropped his fish line at various mailboxes here in Queens.”
The district attorney’s office said police ultimately found four pieces of mail inside Everett’s car, along with 32 checks in the glove compartment and 314 checks inside the trunk. The value of all recovered checks added up to more than $300,000.
Two of the recovered checks — written for $41,202 and $52,639 — had been mailed from Fresh Meadows, Queens.
“After admitting to his crimes, the defendant is going to jail,” Ryan said.
Everett also pleaded guilty in a separate case to identity theft and possession of a forged instrument in Manhattan, where he is scheduled to be sentenced in January 2020.
His Manhattan case consists of six separate incidents in 2016 when Everett was captured depositing stolen and forged checks into bank accounts of complicit account holders before withdrawing the funds.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. warned New Yorkers that the safest way to mail checks and other important documents is by walking them to the Post office.