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Rule

Circulars and Rewards

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AGENCY:

Postal Service.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Postal Service has amended its regulations to update the list of types of postal offenses covered by Poster 296, Notice of Reward.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

March 29, 2004.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Evelena C. Carroll (202) 268-4549.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under certain conditions, the Postal Service pays rewards for information and services leading to the arrest and conviction of persons for certain types of postal offenses. Poster 296, Notice of Reward, gives detailed information regarding the types of offenses covered, the maximum amounts of rewards, and the conditions under which rewards will be paid. This final rule updates Poster 296 to cover certain additional types of offenses, including the mailing of weapons of mass destruction, the facilitation crimes relating to the sexual exploitation of children, and the use of Postal Money Orders for money laundering purposes.

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List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 233

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In view of the considerations discussed above, the Postal Service adopts the following amendments to

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PART 233—INSPECTION SERVICE AUTHORITY

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1. The authority citation for part 233 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 39 U.S.C. 101, 102, 202, 204, 401, 402, 403, 404, 406, 410, 411, 1003, 3005(e)(1); 12 U.S.C. 3401-3422; 18 U.S.C. 981, 1956, 1957, 2254, 3061; Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1996, sec. 662 (Pub. L. 104-208).

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[Amended]
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2. In § 233.2 paragraphs (b)(1) introductory text, (ii), (ix), (x), and the note following paragraph (b)(2) are revised to read as follows:

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Circulars and rewards.

(b) Rewards. (1) Rewards will be paid up to the amounts and under the conditions stated in Poster 296, Notice of Reward, for the arrest and conviction of persons for the following postal offenses:

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(ii) Mailing or causing to be mailed bombs, explosives, poison, weapons of mass destruction, or controlled substances.

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(ix) Mailing or receiving through the mail any visual depiction involving the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, or the use of the mail to facilitate any crime relating to the sexual exploitation of children.

(x) Mailing or causing to be mailed any money which has been obtained illegally, or the use of Postal Money Orders to launder illicit proceeds.

* * * * *

Note:

The text of Poster 296, referred to in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, reads as follows:

The United States Postal Service offers a reward up to the amounts shown for information and services leading to the arrest and conviction of any person for the following offenses:

Murder or Manslaughter, $100,000. The unlawful killing of any officer or employee of the Postal Service while engaged in or on account of the performance of their official duties.

Bombs or Explosives, $100,000. Mailing or causing to be mailed any bombs or explosives which may kill or harm another, or injure the mails or other property, or the placing of any bomb or explosive in a postal facility, vehicle, depository or receptacle established, approved or designated by the Postmaster General for the receipt of mail.

Offenses Involving the Mailing of Threatening Communications, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Poisons, or Hazardous Materials, $100,000. Mailing or causing to be mailed any threatening communications, actual or simulated weapons of mass destruction, dangerous chemicals or biological materials, which may kill or injure another, or injure the mails or other property.

Assault on Postal Employees, $50,000. Forcibly assaulting any officer or employee of the Postal Service while engaged in or on account of the performance of their official duties.

Controlled Substances, Illegal Drugs, or Cash Proceeds from Illegal Drugs, $50,000. Mailing or causing to be mailed any controlled substances, illegal drugs, or proceeds from the sale of illegal drugs.

Money Laundering, $50,000. Mailing or causing to be mailed any money which has been obtained illegally, or the use of postal money orders to launder illicit proceeds.

Postage or Meter Tampering, $50,000. The unlawful use, reuse, or forgery of postage stamps, postage meter stamps, permit imprints or other postage; or the use, sale or possession with intent to use or sell, any used, forged or counterfeited postage stamp or other postage.

Robbery, $50,000. Robbery or attempted robbery of any custodian of any mail, or money or other property of the United States under the control and jurisdiction of the United States Postal Service.

Sexual Exploitation of Children, $50,000. The use of the mails to traffic Start Printed Page 16167in child pornography, or facilitate any other crime relating to the sexual exploitation of children.

Burglary of Post Office, $10,000. Breaking into, or attempting to break into, a post office, station, branch, or building used wholly or partially as a post office, or any building or area in a building where the business of the Postal Service is conducted, with intent to commit a larceny or other depredation therein.

Offenses Involving Postal Money Orders, $10,000. Theft or possession of stolen postal money orders or any Postal Service equipment used to imprint money orders; or altering, counterfeiting, forging, unlawful uttering, or passing of postal money orders.

Theft, Possession, Destruction, or Obstruction of Mail, $10,000. Theft or attempted theft of any mail, or the contents thereof, or the theft of money or any other property of the United States under the custody and control of the United States Postal Service from any custodian, postal vehicle, railroad depot, airport, or other transfer point, post office or station or receptacle or depository established, approved, or designated by the Postmaster General for the receipt of mail; or destroying, obstructing, or retarding the passage of mail, or any carrier or conveyance carrying the mail.

Workers' Compensation Fraud, $10,000. Defrauding the Workers' Compensation Program by any current or former postal employee.

Related Offenses

The United States Postal Service also offers rewards as stated above for information and services leading to the arrest and conviction of any person: (1) For being an accessory to any of the above crimes; (2) for receiving or having unlawful possession of any mail, money or property secured through the above crimes; and (3) for conspiracy to commit any of the above crimes.

General Provisions

1. The Postal Inspection Service investigates the above described crimes. Information concerning the violations, requests for applications for rewards, and written claims for rewards should be furnished to the nearest Postal Inspector. The written claim for reward payment must be submitted within six months from the date of conviction of the offender, or the date of formally deferred prosecution or the date of the offender's death, if killed in committing a crime or resisting lawful arrest for one of the above offenses.

2. The amount of any reward will be based on the significance of services rendered, character of the offender, risks and hazards involved, time spent, and expenses incurred. Amounts of rewards shown above are the maximum amounts which will be paid.

3. The term “custodian” as used herein includes any person having lawful charge, control, or custody of any mail matter, or any money or other property of the United States under the control and jurisdiction of the United States Postal Service.

4. The Postal Service reserves the right to reject a claim for reward where there has been collusion, criminal involvement, or improper methods have been used to effect an arrest or to secure a conviction. It has the right to allow only one reward when several persons were convicted of the same offense, or one person was convicted of several of the above offenses. Postal employees are not eligible to receive a reward for the offenses listed above, other than Workers' Compensation fraud. Employees assigned to the Postal Inspection Service, the General Counsel's office, and those who manage or administer the Injury Compensation Program are not eligible to receive rewards.

5. Other rewards not specifically referred to in this notice may be offered upon the approval of the Chief Postal Inspector (39 U.S.C. 404(a)(8)).

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Stanley F. Mires,

Chief Counsel, Legislative.

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[FR Doc. 04-6886 Filed 3-26-04; 8:45 am]

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