A UPS delivery truck driver from Maine who stole packages of pills intended for patients who are military veterans was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland to serve two years of probation and pay nearly $1,400 in restitution.

Jeffrey P. Wheeler Jr., 31, of Sebago had pleaded guilty before Judge Jon Levy on Sept. 28 to a federal charge of theft from interstate shipments after waiving his right to have his case presented to a grand jury for indictment.

Between Dec. 17, 2013, and Feb. 5, 2014, Wheeler stole eight packages that the Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility in Togus had shipped via UPS to veterans throughout the region. The packages, containing pills with a total value of nearly $1,000, passed through a UPS distribution facility in Massachusetts before arriving at a UPS sorting facility in South Portland, according to a prosecution document filed with the court.

After receiving complaints of a missing package destined for a Portland patient, UPS worked with federal agents to have dummy packages containing the prescription drug Percocet and acetaminophen set out at the South Portland facility. Wheeler took the staged packages on both Feb. 12 and Feb. 20, 2014, Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia Lipez wrote in the prosecution document.

“Agents subsequently approached the defendant, who agreed to an interview and (admitted) stealing VA packages containing oxycodone, suboxone and Adderal, which the defendant had used and provided to others since December 2013,” Lipez wrote.

In addition to $1,376.28 in restitution, the judge also ordered Wheeler to pay a court assessment of $100.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: scottddolan

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