A Tallahassee man was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison Tuesday after he assaulted a United States Postal Service (USPS) mail carrier in the capital city, U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe announced.
According to the news release, 26-year-old Darius Lee Allen assaulted the mail carrier with a firearm on April 2 after the postal worker, who didn’t recognize Allen, refused to hand him the mail. Allen roughly 20 minutes later reapproached the mailman — who was delivering to other neighborhood homes — and fired a gun into the air.
Allen fled the scene immediately after the shooting. The mail carrier retreated in his vehicle and called 911 to report the incident, the news release said.
The Tallahassee Police Department arrested Allen after they found his weapon and a spent shell casing.
“The Postal Service has been a cornerstone of our republic for some 245 years, and the American public has relied on it for secure delivery of items both important and routine,” Keefe said in a statement. “Individuals commit a crime when they try to disrupt a mail carrier’s solemn duty, and Allen’s assault on this federal officer also endangered others in the area.”
Authorities said the mail carrier acted “in accordance with USPS policy” because the postal worker did not recognize Allen as the address’ resident. Instead of handing the mail over, the postal worker placed it in the appropriate mailbox.
Keefe, who serves the Northern District of Florida, credited the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and the Tallahassee Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Lazaro P. Fields prosecuted the case.
“Protecting the safety of our USPS employees is our most important mission, and inspectors will continue the great work of bringing those who attack the USPS to justice,” said Antonio J. Gomez, Inspector in Charge of the USPIS, Miami Division.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the North District of Florida is one of 94 offices under the direction of the U.S. Attorney General.