Two arrested for alleged mail theft from 38 people in Sequim, Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — Two people accused of stealing mail from 38 people from Sequim and Port Angeles appeared in Clallam County Superior Court on Tuesday.

Quinn M. Ersland, 29, transient and Brandon J. McLaughlin, 26, of Port Angeles were arrested Monday for investigation of second-degree possession of stolen property and mail theft after the Sequim Police Department received a report of mail on the ground on North Haller Avenue.

Prosecutors are expected to file charges Thursday.

Sequim police recommended Ersland be charged with five counts of mail theft and 12 counts of second-degree possession of stolen property, court papers say.

Ersland was released from custody Tuesday and is scheduled to appear in court again Thursday at 3 p.m. when charges are filed.

McLaughlin, of Port Angeles, was held in custody for investigation of eight counts of second-degree possession of stolen property and one count of mail theft. Bail was set at $5,000 after Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Steven Johnson told Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer of criminal history involving theft, malicious mischief and of failing to appear in court.

When Sequim Police Officer Richard Larsen investigated on Monday, he said he found mail on the ground in the area and McLaughlin and Ersland in a car parked behind a bush behind QFC.

He saw about six pieces of mail between the passenger’s seat and center console, which Ersland said belonged to her, records say.

When Larsen looked at the mail, he found that none of the mail was addressed to either Ersland or McLaughlin.

After searching the car, police recovered 52 pieces of mail from 30 different addresses in Clallam County, addressed to 38 different people, records say.

Eight checks and four credit card access devices were found in the car.

Ersland told police they needed gas money to get “out of here.”

Rohrer said he didn’t feel she was a flight risk when he released her.

“I don’t think you’re going to move to Brazil or something with this much mail,” he said.

McLaughlin denied knowledge of the mail found in his backpack and in the car, records say.

McLaughlin said in court Tuesday he went to Sequim to help Ersland after someone’s truck went off the side of the road.

“I went out to Sequim to help her with something and it turned out to kick me in the butt,” McLaughlin said.


Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at