A small town Missouri ex-postmaster has pleaded not guilty to charges he conspired with two other people to rob an Eagle Rock convenience store called Uncle Al's.
The FBI said then-postmaster Michael Stubblefield, 49, allegedly planned to set a tire on fire to divert law enforcement elsewhere and then rob the convenience store and stash the money in a mailbox only he could access, according to KSPR, ABC's affiliate in Springfield, Mo.
One of Stubblefield's alleged co-conspirators was a convenience store employee, who knew how to get into the store after hours, according a statement from the FBI. Once the store operator was fired, Stubblefield allegedly abandoned a "staged robbery" plan for a "store take-over" plan, the FBI said.
He was arrested before the alleged robbery could take place, however, thanks in part to FBI informants.
Stubblefield was indicted in April, according to court documents, and he is no longer the town's postmaster.
Accusers told the FBI they believed Stubblefield was also involved with drug trafficking and jewelry theft, according to the KSPR report.
But neighbors said they have a hard time believing it.
"He was a great guy, I thought, and a lot of other people thought, too," Monte Logan, one of Stubblefield's friends, told KSPR. "I'm really surprised. Lot of us don't even believe it happened. So it's just, I mean, kind of guilty until proven innocent."
Stubblefield pleaded guilty on July 26, and his next court date is in September, according to court documents.