U.S. v. Jolynn May and Jason May, No. 12-30016 and 12-30021 (2-12-13) (Quist with Fletcher and Fisher)
Neither rain nor snow etc. may stop the mail (although Saturdays might), but thefts of parcels left on porches certainly prevents it from getting through to the addressee. This was especially galling at Christmas time, when the thefts took place. The Postal Service, beset with a wave of such thefts, had to alter its delivery methods so that parcels were only delivered to addressees in person. The rest were returned to post office. This added additional costs. Eventually the defendant was caught and plead guilty. On appeal, the argument was that the costs of such a change in delivery policy should not have been added to relevant conduct and should not have been the basis for restitution. The 9th affirmed the relevant conduct, holding that the receipt of stolen mail, charged in count one, prior to the delivery change, could be added to theft of mail in count 2, which was after the change. The 9th ducked the issue of whether permanent crime prevention costs could be added to relevant conduct, saying that here it was proper because the change was directly related to the defendant's crime spree. The 9th did vacate the restitution order for close to $70,000 because the mail theft to which he plead guilty occurred after the change.
Congratulations to Linda Sullivan and Alan Zarky of the FPD Office (Tacoma) of the Western District of Washington