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An Omaha man indicted for the Dec. 14 armed robbery of a U.S. Postal Service truck driver in Grand Island was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison Monday.

Gary Fellows, 45, is the first of three men charged in the crime to face sentencing after pleading guilty to robbery and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Senior U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp sentenced him in Omaha.

His co-defendants, Sidney Britt and Joshua Britt, are set for sentencing in November.

In a news release, U.S. Attorney Joe Kelly said at 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 14, at the U.S. Post Office Distribution Center in Grand Island, a postal employee was approached by a masked man with a handgun and forced at gunpoint into the passenger seat of his semi.

Kelly said the masked man covered the victim’s head and bound his hands. Fellows then drove the semi to a rest area off Interstate 80, where he and two others stole remittance bags from the trailer before driving away in a pickup.

He said the loss to the United States Post Office from the robbery was $68,507.04.

At the time of the robbery, Fellows was employed as a tractor-trailer operator for the U.S. Postal Service out of Omaha. He had a prior federal conviction for bank robbery.

“The sentencing today serves as yet another example of the unending dedication of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to protect the employees of the United States Postal Service. When someone violently kidnaps and robs one of our employees, we stop at nothing to identify those responsible,” said Bill Hedrick, Inspector in Charge of the Denver Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service, which covers Nebraska.

The case was investigated by the Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, the Nebraska State Patrol, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office and Grand Island Police Department.

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