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 Charges Filed in Wake of Man’s Disappearing Act

July 11, 2007 - A Knightstown man who abandoned his Greenfield postal route last Wednesday and was the subject of a three-day search by law enforcement and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is facing federal criminal charges in Indianapolis, as well as a possible handgun charge in Bartholomew County.

A criminal complaint filed Tuesday afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana charged 48-year-old John R. Jordan with unlawfully detaining and delaying mail entrusted to him. If convicted of the offense, Jordan, a U.S. Postal Service carrier for nearly 20 years, could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The Greenfield Post Office contacted postal inspectors last Wednesday and reported Jordan as missing when he failed to return from his route. Jordan’s postal truck was found parked near the corner of Sycamore and Chestnut lanes in Greenfield, with the mail for his route, his cell phone and wallet locked inside.

Jordan’s unexplained disappearance sparked a search effort that involved several law enforcement agencies, as well as postal inspectors. He was located Saturday afternoon in a Laundromat in Columbus, Ind., where he was arrested for carrying a handgun without a license, a Class A misdemeanor that could bring a sentence of up a year in prison and a $5,000 fine.

According to Lt. Steve Norman of the Columbus City Police Dept., Jordan, who had kayaked from Greenfield to Columbus, initially gave officers the name of “Clark Martin.” However, in response to further questioning from the officers, he said Jordan confirmed his true identity.

“They finally just asked him if he was the missing postman, and he just hung his head and said, ‘Yeah, that’s me,’” said Norman. “He said he’d been having work and family problems and just left. That’s the only excuse that he gave.”

Following his arrest Saturday in Columbus, Jordan was booked in the Bartholomew County Jail, where he was being held without bond on a 48-hour hold. On Monday, a Bartholomew County judge granted Prosecutor Bill Nash’s request that Jordan be held for another 72 hours while his office decided what formal charges, if any, it would file.

While no charges had been filed against Jordan in Bartholomew County as of Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. District Attorney began its proceedings against him. In a criminal complaint filed by USPS Special Agent Michelle Henderson, Jordan was charged with unlawfully detaining and delaying the delivery of mail that had been entrusted to him as a mail carrier for the Greenfield Post Office.

In an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, Henderson said Columbus police officers had found a black Colt .38 caliber “police” revolver, 23 bullets and a bag of syringes in Jordan’s backpack. The affidavit also states that officers found a “large quantity of cash” on him.

The CCPD’s Norman told The Banner on Monday that Jordan had paid $1,300 in cash for a motor scooter from a used car lot shortly before he was apprehended at the Laundromat, and had about another $5,000 on him. He also said officers initially doubted Jordan’s claim that he had kayaked to Columbus from Greenfield, but that Jordan led them to the spot near the river where he had left his kayak.

According to a press release issued late Tuesday afternoon by Susan Brooks, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Jordan is expected to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge in Indianapolis sometime today. It is not known at this time if Jordan will face any additional state or federal charges with respect to his disappearance.


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