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USPS OIG – A Chance Encounter

September 28, 2023 ,

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » Office of Inspector General OIG

It was a mild spring morning in 2019 when a Postal Service city carrier drove up to a small, unassuming home in St. Louis, Missouri. As routine would have it, she walked up to the porch, picked up a Priority Mail package, and drove off. Except she wasn’t alone.

As she tried to turn around on a one-way street, the sight of flashing lights caught her attention. Had she done something wrong? She certainly wasn’t speeding.

Within moments of pulling over, she realized this was no ordinary traffic stop — far from it: St. Louis Metropolitan Parcel Task Force agents arrested her and took her in for questioning. Our special agent, a member of the task force, was also on the scene.

Earlier that month, a member of a drug trafficking organization approached the carrier, offering her money in exchange for her delivering parcels containing marijuana.

For that first delivery, she found the package in the post office and took it to meet her contact on the road. He parked right behind her mail truck, from which she retrieved the package and handed it to him. As often happens with drug trafficking schemes, a more tempting offer followed for a second delivery.

That day, she took leave without pay but got in her mail truck and drove to a location where a parcel was delivered by an unsuspecting postal employee just moments before. When the city carrier walked up to the porch, she had no idea the task force had been tracking suspicious packages that led them to that location. The task force was unaware of the carrier’s involvement in the trafficking organization until she removed the delivered package from the doorstep. Neither had any idea she’d walked into a sting operation.

During her interview, she told the agents she was promised more money for the second package. She was also unaware that, instead of marijuana, it contained 12 bundles of methamphetamine and fentanyl.

The task force investigation led to the identification and arrest of four members of the drug trafficking organization, including her contact. The employee and four men pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute narcotics. The combined sentences totaled over 17 years in federal prison.

It doesn’t pay to violate the sanctity of the U.S. Mail. If you suspect or know of narcotics trafficking involving Postal Service employees or contractors, please report it to our Hotline.

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