FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Henry Gutierrez, Postal Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI), J.D. Patterson, Acting Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, and Marc Elias Jr., Chief, North Miami Police Department, announce the conviction of Pikerson Mentor, 30, of Miami, on all 14-counts of an indictment that charged him with, among other things, robbery, homicide, firearm, and fraud charges related to the December 6, 2010 murder of U.S. Postal Service letter carrier Bruce Parton. Sentencing has been scheduled for November 27, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Donald L. Graham. At sentencing, Mentor faces a possible maximum sentence of up to life imprisonment, plus a twelve year mandatory consecutive sentence.
After a seven-day trial, with approximately 40 witnesses, the jury convicted Mentor of all 14 counts of the Second Superseding Indictment, which included the murder of a federal government employee while in the course of his duties, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1114 and 111; car-jacking, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2119; theft of a key for a U.S. Postal Service mail receptacle, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1704; use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(j); conspiracy to commit and commission of access device fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, 371 and 1029(a)(2); and aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “The murder of Bruce Parton was a callous and unnecessary act, resulting in the death of a hard-working and dedicated public servant. Bruce Parton was murdered so that the defendants could execute their scheme to steal identities to commit tax refund and other financial frauds. I hope that today’s verdict brings some solace and a sense of justice to Mr. Parton’s family. Public servants like Mr. Parton are often unsung heroes. Their dedication and commitment to service, often at great personal sacrifice, are deeply appreciated by all of us.”
“Today’s verdict is a culmination of the aggressive efforts of the South Florida’s law enforcement community in bringing to justice anyone who harms our civil servants. Under the leadership of our U.S. Attorney and his outstanding prosecutors, justice has been served. Our thoughts and prayers will always be with Bruce Parton and his family,” said Henry Gutierrez, Postal Inspector in Charge, U. S. Postal Inspection Service.
IRS-CI SAC José A. Gonzalez stated, “This defendant went through great lengths to secure the funds generated from committing identity theft fraud. With the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners, we will hold accountable the lawless among us who believe that their criminal acts will go unpunished.”
According to trial evidence, U.S. Postal Service letter carrier Bruce Parton was murdered on December 6, 2010 as he delivered mail to the Monte Carlo apartment complex in northwest Miami. Mentor and his accomplices stole the victim’s U.S Postal master key, called an Arrow Key, and the keys to the victim’s postal truck. Postal keys are used by letter carriers to access mailboxes. Witnesses testified that they heard two shots at the scene, and an eyewitness testified that she saw the defendant fleeing the apartment complex in the victim’s stolen truck. In addition, Saubnet Politesse, a co-conspirator who testified regarding his role in the conspiracy, confirmed that Mentor had shot the victim mail carrier. In addition, witnesses explained how the defendants used the stolen master key to enter mailboxes to steal private financial and personal identification information and to intercept debit cards loaded with fraudulently obtained tax refunds.
During trial, North Miami Police detectives testified about the May 4, 2011, arrest of Saubnet Politesse for driving without a license. During that arrest, the officers discovered a unique looking key with an obliterated serial number. The serial number was subsequently restored and matched the serial number of the victim’s stolen master key. Upon being questioned by the police, Politesse described his, Mentor’s and another person’s participation in the December 6 robbery and murder. Thereafter, early in the morning of May 5, 2011, defendant Mentor was arrested. Politesse previously pled guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 31, 2012.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, IRS-CI, Miami-Dade Police Department and the North Miami Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony LaCosta and Roy Altman.