Postal employee convicted of identity theft, key theft and bank fraud

MOBILE, AL – A federal jury has found a Mobile woman guilty of conspiring, committing bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and stealing a USPS key. Kristen Arieale Williams, 31, who worked as a mail carrier in Prichard, was convicted after a three-day trial.

During the trial, it was revealed that Williams had stolen a USPS “arrow” key and sold it to a co-conspirator in late October 2024. The arrow key, a government property, is capable of opening all blue USPS collection boxes in a specific area. The co-conspirator, who had already pleaded guilty to bank fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft, admitted to paying Williams $2,500 in cash for the key.

Law enforcement authorities apprehended the co-conspirator in November 2024, as they used the stolen key to pilfer mail from collection boxes near the Bel Air Mall in Mobile. This individual managed to steal hundreds of pieces of mail using the key.

In addition to the key theft, evidence presented in court showed that Williams conspired to commit bank fraud by depositing counterfeit checks into her own bank account. These counterfeit checks were obtained from stolen mail and contained the personal information of multiple victims, some of whom testified during the trial.

The jury reviewed a range of evidence, including call logs, text messages, pictures, videos, and other data extracted from Williams’s cell phone and that of her co-conspirator. They came across a string of text messages from March 2024, in which Williams discussed the arrow key she had stolen and sold the previous October. The messages revealed her anxieties about the theft, stating that the Prichard post office had become more strict about such matters. The jury also heard a recorded confession from Williams in which she admitted to engaging in illegal activities and lying to federal agents.

The sentencing of Williams is scheduled to take place in February 2024 by U.S. District Judge Kristi K. DuBose. For her conviction of aggravated identity theft, she faces a mandatory two-year prison sentence, which will be consecutive to any other sentence she receives. Convictions of conspiracy and bank fraud carry a potential sentence of up to 30 years, and theft and sale of the arrow key is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Williams will also be required to provide restitution to her victims.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the USPS Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Mobile Police Department. The Brewton Police Department and the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General have also provided significant assistance during the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Roller is leading the prosecution on behalf of the United States.