PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WHTM) — Three Pennsylvania men were arrested and charged for their alleged connection to a USPS Arrow Key and mail theft from blue collection boxes.

According to United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero, the three men were arrested and charged by Indictment with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit mail theft, possession of stolen mail, and robbery of a postal carrier.

The three men, Sam Wolo, 21, of Philadelphia; Bruno Nyanue, 20, of Philadelphia; and Gransae Manue, 20, of Clifton Heights; were charged based on their alleged schemes to steal checks from the United States mail and then fraudulently alter and deposit the checks.

According to the Department of Justice, the Indictment alleges that Wolo, Nyanue, and Manue forcibly robbed a U.S. Postal Service (USPS) letter carrier of his Arrow Key on December 22, 2021. The Arrow Key is a key that is used by USPS workers to access the USPS blue collection boxes. Wolon, Nyanue, and Manue allegedly stole a key that opened boxes in Drexel Hill snf stole mail from the mailboxes located in that area.

The release provided by the Department of Justice states that the three men “washed” and altered the checks that they stole between December 2021 and February 2022. These checks belonged to the victims who mailed their checks in Drexel Hill. The men allegedly altered the checks to make them payable to third parties and in most cases, they allegedly changed the monetary value on the check to larger amounts.

The men allegedly deposited this money into third-party accounts and withdrew some of the fraudulently deposited funds. The Indictment further alleges that the stolen items were retrieved from Wolo’s apartment. About 370 checks and nine stolen money orders, as well as the Arrow Key, were found in Wolo’s apartment and his vehicle, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

The value of all the stolen checks and money orders totaled more than $171,000.

“The United States Postal Service provides an essential service to nearly every American, often conveying income, bills and expenses which are the basis of many livelihoods,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “If you choose to tamper with or steal U.S. mail for any reason, you can be assured that the federal government will conduct an intensive investigation and aggressive prosecution, as we intend to in this case.”

“People continue to use and rely on the U.S. Mail to pay bills, conduct business, send letters and cards, and send and receive goods, among other things,” said Raimundo Marreo, Inspector in Charge of the Philadelphia Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. “They should be able do these things without fear that their mail will be stolen. Investigating mail theft and violence against mail carriers are core missions of the Postal Inspection Service and we will work tirelessly, with our partners in local law enforcement and in state and federal prosecutors offices, to investigate and prosecute individuals who commit violence against Postal employees and who steal the mail. I want to thank the United States Attorney’s Office and investigators from the Upper Darby Police Department for their help in investigating and prosecuting this case against these three individuals.”

According to the Department of Justice, if they are convicted, Wolo faces a maximum of 236 years in prison, Nyanue faces a maximum of 64 years in prison, and Manue faces a maximum of 172 years in prison. They could also face fines of at least $3 million, with Wolo facing possible fines up to $8.5 million.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Upper Darby Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eileen Castilla Geiger.