From the time the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) first learned of the U.S. Mail disruption in Mid-City — via a letter posted to social media by a resident — officers have been working on tracking down a trail of alleged attacks on postal carriers along 14th Street route.
On Tuesday afternoon, SMPD released a statement on its website essentially declaring they are not aware of any further attacks beyond the one they had already disclosed, which occurred on Jan. 19.
“Yesterday [Monday], representatives of the SMPD spoke with the postmaster who wrote the suspension letter; we were referred to an Inspector in the US Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) for additional information about other attacks on mail carriers in that area and possibly by the same subject,” according to the information posted by the SMPD. “The Postal Inspector did not believe any reports were made to the USPIS by mail carriers and are working now to locate any other postal workers who may have been victims and obtaining information for an investigation.”
When reached for comment on the investigation, the USPIS sent a brief statement via email.
“Protecting the Postal Service and its employees is the core mission of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; therefore, these kinds of investigations receive the highest level of response and attention,” according to an unnamed USPIS representative. “The safety and security of Postal Service employees is a top priority for the Postal Inspection Service. Postal Inspectors educate employees to avoid, when possible, situations that pose special risk to them or to the security of the mail. Inspectors also work closely with neighborhood crime prevention groups to keep an eye out for their letter carriers. Postal Inspectors developed a program called ‘Safe and Secure,’ which focuses on continuing employee education and prevention efforts through talks, presentations, and training videos to help employees prevent robberies, assaults, and theft from postal vehicles and facilities.”
USPIS did not reply to multiple phone calls requesting more detailed information on Wednesday afternoon.
Mail service was initially paused to the 1300 block of 14th Street on Thursday, April 7, and resumed Tuesday, April 11, shortly after the suspension of service made national headlines on Monday.
SMPD said the suspect in the original case, Devon Ray Morgan, was most recently arrested on April 6 for misdemeanor vandalism and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was issued a citation and released per current county bail rules. He is also currently under investigation for two incidents that occurred in March: battery and criminal threats. Once completed, those cases will be presented to either the City Attorney (misdemeanor) or District Attorney (felony) for filing consideration.
On Monday, SMPD confirmed Morgan was not unhoused, as had been widely speculated on social media and some news outlets.
The Santa Monica Post Office, Postmaster Marjorie Watson (who signed the original suspension notice) and the Postal Service’s District Office did not respond to phone calls Wednesday.