BANGOR, Maine — Two brothers were sentenced Monday in federal court to prison terms for two break-ins at the Levant post office during the Christmas season last year.
U.S. District Judge John Woodcock sentenced Todd Alden Whitman, 23, to two years in prison for his role in the Nov. 21, 2009, and Dec. 14, 2009, break-ins. The judge sentenced Timothy Edward Whitman, 27, to a year and two months in prison.
Both men lived in Hermon at the time of the burglaries.
Todd Whitman received a longer sentence because of his criminal record, which included five burglaries in 2005, Woodcock said.
In addition, Woodcock sentenced them to three years of supervised release after they complete their prison terms and ordered them to pay jointly $1,024 in restitution.
The brothers pleaded guilty in June in U.S. District Court in Bangor to two counts of burglary each at a U.S. post office.
The men admitted that they spent the cash they took from envelopes, pawned some of the items they stole and gave others to relatives as Christmas gifts. During the two burglaries, the brothers opened more than 50 parcels, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“When you burglarize a government office, you burglarize all of us,” Woodcock told the Whitman brothers in imposing their sentences. “I can’t emphasize in strong enough terms that if you don’t change the way you are acting, you are going to end up spending most of your lives in prison.”
The judge criticized both men for failing to pay child support and made it a condition of their supervised release that they catch up on payments.
Woodcock ordered that Todd Whitman serve his sentence in federal prison after he completes a two-year sentence he is serving at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham. Todd Whitman was on probation for a series of storage facilities break-ins in 2005 when he and his brother burglarized the post office. His probation was revoked after he pleaded guilty to the federal charges.
Timothy Whitman, who has been free on bail since his arrest, will be allowed to self-report to federal prison next month.
Both men told the judge they regretted their actions. Todd Whitman said that being incarcerated during the birth of his second son last week had “been a profound experience.” Timothy Whitman said he “felt bad” for what he had done and apologized to the victims, none of whom attended the sentencing.
The brothers’ mother and maternal grandmother sat behind them weeping beside the mothers of their children as Woodcock imposed the sentences.
The brothers gained entry to the post office last November through a window that had been broken by a piece of cinder block, according to court documents. Ten parcels were removed from lockers and opened.
A different window was broken during the second burglary to the post office, located at 3454 Union St., according to court documents. This time, 45 parcels were opened.
Items taken during both burglaries included an iPod Nano, an iPod Touch, an “Angels & Demons” DVD, spiral earrings, wickless candles, an L.L. Bean quick check calendar weather station, a Wii video game, an insulated travel tumbler, a model Ford Mustang, a Nerf ’n’ Strike Rapid Fire Blaster with 35 darts, a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses and a BlackBerry Pearl.
Blood found on a portion of the broken window after the latter burglary matched the DNA profile of Todd Whitman, according to court documents. In addition, Todd Whitman’s wife, who was not named in court documents, e-mailed her husband’s state probation officer in January to tell him of the crimes.
When interviewed on Jan. 14 by investigators, the Whitman brothers confessed to the crimes. They admitted selling the iPods, keeping some items and burning mail in envelopes after removing cash.
The men faced up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.