Sixteen USPS workers in Atlanta were jailed after their conviction for accepting bribes as low as $250 to deliver ‘significant’ packages of cocaine while on their daily routes
Sixteen Atlanta USPS workers accepted bribes to deliver packages of cocaine while on their daily routes, officials said this week.
The postal workers, ranging in age from 26 to 64, were sentenced to between three and nine years in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia said in a statement.
Each defendant is also required to pay thousands of dollars in forfeiture or restitution.
The group of 16 U.S. Postal Service letter carriers and clerks from across the Atlanta area was sentenced to federal prison for accepting bribes to deliver packages of cocaine, two kilograms or more at a time, in a wide-reaching undercover operation.
The defendants reportedly, were willing to make the deliveries for bribes as low as $250.
Federal agents trying to dismantle a drug trafficking ring in 2015, soon realized that drug traffickers had been bribing postal workers to intercept and specially deliver packages of cocaine while on their regular routes, including residential neighborhoods.
The traffickers allegedly, viewed the postal workers as less likely to be caught because of their official jobs, the statement said. Those snared in the operation include:
Cydra Rochelle Alexander, 33, of Riverdale, Georgia, a letter carrier
Aurthamis ‘Tank’ O. Burch, 47, of Snellville, Georgia, a letter carrier
Kawana Rashun Champion, 36, of Jonesboro, Georgia, a clerk
Eleanor ‘Eleanor Johnson’ Lolita Golden, 55, of East Point, Georgia, a letter carrier
Tonie Harris, 55, of Decatur, Georgia, a letter carrier
Leea Janel Holt, 39, of Atlanta, Georgia, a letter carrier
Clifton ‘Cliff’ Curtis Lee, 43, of Lithonia, Georgia, a letter carrier
Shakeed Anilah Magee, 41, of College Park, Georgia, a letter carrier
Horace Manson, 41, of Roswell, Georgia, a letter carrier
Olivia Marita Moore, 26, of Atlanta, Georgia, a letter carrier
Eddie Nash, 64, of Decatur, Georgia, a letter carrier
Jeffrey A. Pearson, 61, of Austell, Georgia, a letter carrier
Rodney Antwain Salter, 34, of Jonesboro, Georgia, a letter carrier
Frank Webb, 41, of Lithonia, Georgia, a letter carrier
Katrina ‘Trina’ Nicole Wilson, 39, of Fairburn, Georgia, a letter carrier
Harvel ‘Dante’ Donta Young, 41, of Atlanta, Georgia a letter carrier
To catch the corrupt workers, federal agents used a confidential source who posed as a drug trafficker in search of postal workers to deliver packages of kilogram quantities of cocaine or marijuana, officials said.
Each of the workers agreed to deliver cocaine instead of marijuana — believing they could charge a higher bribe, according to the statement.
Once the workers agreed to make the deliveries and negotiated a bribe amount, law enforcement agents watched from a distance and recorded what was going on.
The workers also connected the federal source to other postal workers who were willing to make the illicit deliveries — and claimed additional bribes for every package their recruit delivered, officials said.
“Postal employees are paid to deliver mail, not drugs,” special agent Imari R. Niles, of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, said in a statement. “The vast majority of the Postal Service’s 600,000 employees are hard-working, trustworthy individuals.”
“U.S. Postal Service workers are typically valuable members of the community, entrusted to deliver the mail every day to our homes,” added U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.
“This important operation identified and prosecuted 16 corrupt individuals who chose to abuse that trust and instead used their positions to bring what they thought were large amounts of dangerous drugs into those same communities for a quick payoff.”
Also jailed was the deal facilitator, Dexter ‘Dec’ Bernard Frazier, 57, of Fairburn, Georgia, who was not a postal employee but participated in some of the package deliveries by connecting the confidential source with postal workers. He was sentenced to nine years in prison to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $10,700.