Federal agents use GPS tracker in pretend package to take down suspected mail thief

Jared Lee Jeffries charged with mail theft, possessing counterfeit postal keys

SAN ANTONIO – Federal agents in San Antonio last month used a GPS tracker inside a decoy package to track down and arrest a suspected mail thief, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders.

Jared Lee Jeffries faces federal charges of mail theft and possessing counterfeit postal keys.

The charges stem from an Aug. 20 raid of a townhouse in the 2500 block of Grayson Circle.

According to the criminal complaint against Jeffries, a U.S. postal inspector got a federal warrant early last month that allowed him to place a GPS tracking device inside a pretend package that was later given valid postage, a tracking number and accepted into the U.S. mail system.

The package was then placed inside a USPS locker in the 13800 block of Possum Tree, in a neighborhood near McAllister Park.

Less than two weeks later, the package was taken from the locker and agents were able to begin tracking its movements, according to the criminal complaint.

San Antonio Police Department officers began to follow the tracker's signal, first to a nearby pizza restaurant and then inside the home on Grayson Circle, about 2.5 miles from its original location.

Jeffries was later taken into custody, and a pizza box from the restaurant was found inside his residence, according to the criminal complaint.

Officers noticed that Jeffries' knuckles were "injured and bloody."

Fellow SAPD officers processing the parcel locker said it had been tampered with and had a blood smear on its door.

Jeffries is scheduled to make his initial appearance Tuesday morning before a federal magistrate judge.

An SAPD spokeswoman referred all questions about the case to federal authorities.

A San Antonio-based spokesman for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service declined comment, since the case is ongoing.

The Aug. 20 incident was the second time federal agents raided the home on Grayson Circle this year.

In early February, agents recovered counterfeit postal "arrow" keys in various stages of completion, illicit narcotics, 500 rounds of ammunition, a .22 caliber semiautomatic pistol and U.S. mail belonging to people other than Jeffries at the home.

Jeffries told investigators he stole mail over the past year and made counterfeit postal keys in an effort to find gift cards he could steal.

Jeffries, a convicted felon, was later charged with possessing stolen mail and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The stolen mail charge was set aside after Jeffries pleaded guilty in late July to the felon in possession of a firearm charge, according to court records.

He was scheduled to report to federal prison next week to begin serving an 18-month sentence.

Jeffries also faces an unrelated state firearms charge after being arrested in June.

His lengthy criminal history in Bexar County includes felony convictions for intoxication assault and possession of a controlled substance.

Jeffries faces up to 15 years in prison in the latest federal mail theft case.

About the Author:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.