Two Sand Point men are facing federal charges after allegedly breaking into the town’s post office in late December.
Sheldon Shuravloff, 21, and Keith Lee Wilson, Jr., 18, were indicted Thursday on charges of burglary with intent to commit larceny, and conspiracy to commit burglary.
An unnamed 17-year-old is also facing juvenile charges in connection with the alleged break-in. The state is handling that part of the case.
Sand Point Police Chief John Lucking wouldn’t say what was damaged in the incident, which happened on Dec. 28. The post office’s outer door was unlocked at the time, Lucking says, to allow after-hours access to mailboxes.
“We responded to the report of a burglary there… and found damage and secured the scene, and cooperated with the federal authorities who came in to conduct their own investigation, which we supported,” Lucking says.
He says all three defendants are lifelong residents of Sand Point, which is home to about a thousand people. Though the case has been turned over to federal investigators, Lucking says locals are still paying close attention.
“The community is adamant — they’re expecting accountability here. And I think everybody feels like it was a personal violation,” Lucking says. “It’s everyone’s post office, and people were locked out of their mail for a week, and processes have changed and doors have become locked now. And it shouldn’t have to be that way in Sand Point, Alaska.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Courter says that’s a consideration as the case moves forward.
“It’s pretty well known that in our small communities, the post office is a center of community life,” Courter says. “It’s important for every member of the community, not just the people involved in a particular break-in or incident.”
Shuravloff and Wilson could face up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine for each charge. Courter says the value of the damage done to the post office could affect any possible sentence.