ATLANTA (AP) – Sixteen postal staff in Atlanta and the encompassing space accepted bribes to ship packages of cocaine, federal prosecutors stated Wednesday.
In trade for bribery funds, the postal staff offered particular addresses on their routes the place the medicine might be shipped after which intercepted the packages and delivered them to an individual they believed was a drug trafficker utilizing the postal system to ship a number of kilograms of cocaine at a time into the world, U.S. Lawyer John Horn stated.
Nevertheless it was truly a sting operation: The supposed drug trafficker was working with regulation enforcement and the packages contained pretend medicine.
“Postal staff are entrusted with an important perform in our communities. They typically are visiting individuals’s houses and having private interplay with our residents,” Horn stated. “The defendants on this case allegedly breached that important belief by accepting work from anyone that they believed to be a drug vendor. For a easy few additional bucks of their pockets, they have been prepared to not solely deliver what they believed to be harmful medicine into our communities, however additionally they jeopardized the security of their co-staff and the residents they served.”
A number of the postal staff recruited others to hitch the trafficking scheme and acquired extra cash for packages delivered by their recruits, Horn stated.
One other man, who was not a postal employee, was additionally charged after prosecutors stated he launched a few of the postal staff to the supposed drug trafficker and coordinated logistics of the plan in trade for cash.
The multiyear investigation developed after the FBI discovered whereas pursuing different instances that sellers have been utilizing the postal system to maneuver medicine and keep away from regulation enforcement detection, Horn stated.
The sixteen postal staff and the opposite man have been charged in three separate indictments that have been unsealed Tuesday.
“Whereas the overwhelming majority of U.S. Postal Service personnel are arduous-working and reliable people who’re devoted to delivering mail and would by no means think about partaking in legal conduct, these costs mirror the choose few who determined to betray the belief,” stated Paul Bowman, particular agent in control of the Atlanta space workplace of the U.S. Postal Service, Workplace of Inspector Basic.
The postal staff charged embrace 15…