A U.S. Postal Service inspector from San Jose was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on charges of stealing prescription drugs, jewelry and other valuables from mail between 2012 and June 2014.
Quan Pham Howard, 51, of San Jose, was charged in the indictment with three counts: possession of stolen U.S. mail; delay and destruction of mail; and possession of 8.27 kilograms of marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
Howard was arrested in June 26 on an earlier federal criminal complaint following a search of his house and office, according to Lauren Howard, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner of Sacramento.
The indictment, issued by a grand jury in San Jose, replaces the complaint. Howard is due to be arraigned before a federal magistrate in San Jose on Aug. 1.
The three counts each carry a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison if Howard is convicted.
The stolen-mail count of the indictment lists 25 allegedly pilfered items allegedly in Howard's possession as of June 25, including gold, silver and diamond rings, two white gold diamond bracelets, a silver bar, other jewelry, valuable coins, a gun silencer and a gun scope.
The marijuana count alleges that the 8.27 kilograms of marijuana were possessed by Howard on June 25, but does not say the source of the drug.
The third count of the indictment charges him with delaying, destroying and/or hiding mail that contained a 10-pound copper bar, other parcels and prescription drugs mailed to 12 people between April 25, 2012, and June 25, 2014.
Howard was a supervisory postal inspector at the Postal Service's San Jose Processing and Distribution Center, Horwood said.
A postal inspector is a law enforcement officer who investigates mail-related crimes and recommends cases to U.S. Justice Department attorneys for prosecution.
Horwood said Howard is being prosecuted by lawyers from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Sacramento because he worked with prosecutors in U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco.