A man who federal authorities said stole medication from veterans has been given three years probation.
Harry Woodall appeared Monday morning before Federal Judge Sandy Mattice.
He said he had been addicted to pain killers.
Woodall was employed by the United States Postal Service (USPS) as a mail clerk at the TullahomaPost Office. After receiving numerous complaints of stolen mail from customers, special agents with the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG) began an investigation. They determined that between March 6, 2012, and Aug. 22, 2012, no less than 22 packages containing controlled substances from the Veteran's Administration (VA) were reported stolen from the Tullahoma Post Office.
The investigation revealed that Woodall was working and would have had access to the mailings each time they arrived at the post office. Woodall was the only employee who was working at the time all the packages disappeared and he was the employee who typically scanned the parcels that were later found missing.
Surveillance cameras caught Woodall shaking parcels (presumably to determine if pills were inside) and later pocketing the parcels or moving to locations just out of sight from the cameras.
On Aug. 22, 2012, investigators placed a VA drug parcel in the mail slot of the post office. The parcel contained blue powder and a bottle of calcium pills. Woodall was observed taking a parcel into the men's room. Agents later entered the restroom and found Woodall trying to wash the blue powder from his hands. The open parcel was on the floor.
Woodall was provided his Miranda warnings and signed a written waiver. He admitted that he stole VA parcels containing controlled substances for approximately a year due to a narcotic addiction. He denied selling the pills, claiming that he used them for himself, consuming approximately 10 per day, with Hydrocodone as his drug of choice. He admitted shaking the parcels to determine if pills were inside and claimed that he could tell by the sound if the pills were Hydrocodone.
He told investigators that he would steal the parcels when an opportunity arose and normally go into the bathroom to retrieve the pills. He said that he burned the wrappers for the packages when he went home. Woodall said he last stole pills from a parcel the day before, Aug. 21, 2012. The investigators recovered an unmarked bottle of pills from Woodall's person. He admitted that it contained pills he had previously stolen.
Woodall had faced up to five years in prison.