Postal Workers Accepted Bribes To Deliver Cocaine: Feds

SANDY SPRINGS, GA — More than a dozen United States Postal Service letter carriers and clerks have pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison for accepting bribes to deliver cocaine through the mail, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia said.

Leea Janel Holt, the final defendant in the group of 16, was sentenced Tuesday, Nov. 27 in connection to the operation carried out by letter carriers assigned to post offices around metro Atlanta. U.S. Attorney BJay Pak said the defendants made deliveries for as low as $250, and were each sentenced to serve between three and nine years in federal prison.

“U.S. Postal Service workers are typically valuable members of the community, entrusted to deliver the mail every day to our homes,” Pak said. “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.”

According to federal prosecutors, agents involved in investigating and rooting out a drug trafficking ring in Atlanta learned these operators were paying postal workers to intercept and deliver packages of drugs while they carried out their normal routines, to include serving residential neighborhoods.

“The drug traffickers believed the postal workers were less likely to be caught by law enforcement because of their official jobs, and found that the corrupt postal workers were willing to hand deliver the drugs in exchange for bribes,” Pak’s office said.

Federal prosecutors note this partnership not only exploited postal service workers, but also increase the chances they would be exposed to these substances and to rival traffickers who
“sometimes try to rob postal workers to steal packages of drugs.”

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To dismantle the operation, the feds worked with a confidential source who posed as a drug trafficker looking for postal workers to deliver packages of cocaine and marijuana. The defendants agreed to deliver packages, and negotiated the amount of money they would charge to fulfill their end of the agreement. Meanwhile, law enforcement agents were able to watch these operations from a distance and recorded the interactions.

“All the defendants chose to deliver cocaine instead of marijuana, believing they could charge a higher bribe for packages of cocaine,” prosecutors said. “They also agreed to deliver packages on multiple occasions over a period of time.”

When the source asked the postal workers if they knew of any colleagues who would be interested in participating, some defendants introduced the source to coworkers who wanted in on the operation, federal prosecutors note. Defendants convicted and sentenced in connection to the operation include:

Cydra Rochelle Alexander, 33, of Riverdale: a letter carrier assigned to the Ralph McGill Carrier Annex and Central City Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to five years, 10 months in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount of $4,500 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on Feb. 22, 2018. Alexander pleaded guilty to these charges on Nov. 27, 2017.

Aurthamis O. Burch, 47, of Snellville: a letter carrier assigned to the Doraville Post Office was sentenced to three years, 10 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount of $1,500 by U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones on April 10. Burch pleaded guilty to these charges on Dec. 11, 2017.

Kawana Rashun Champion, 36, of Jonesboro: a clerk assigned to the North Springs Branch of the Sandy Springs Post Office and Central City Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to nine years in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount of $10,500 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on May 11. Champion pleaded guilty to these charges on Feb. 20.

Eleanor Lolita Golden, 55, of East Point: a letter carrier assigned to the West End Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to six years in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,500 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on May 17. Golden pleaded guilty to these charges on Dec. 20, 2017.

Tonie Harris, 55, of Decatur: a letter carrier assigned to the Sandy Springs Post Office was sentenced to three years, one month in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,450 by U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones on Aug. 14. Harris pleaded guilty to these charges on March 20.

Leea Janel Holt, 39, of Atlanta: a letter carrier assigned to the Old National Branch of the Riverdale Post Office was sentenced to 6 years, 6 months in prison to be followed by 4 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,500 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on Nov. 27, 2018. Holt pleaded guilty to these charges on June 6 and Aug. 28.

Clifton Curtis Lee, 43, of Lithonia: a letter carrier assigned to the Sandy Springs Post Office was sentenced to three years, 10 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,800 by U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones on June 18. Lee pleaded guilty to these charges on Feb. 28.

Shakeed Anilah Magee, 41, of College Park: a letter carrier assigned to the West End Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,000 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on Feb. 13. Magee pleaded guilty to these charges on Nov. 14, 2017.

Horace Manson, 41, of Roswell: a letter carrier assigned to the West End Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to three years, 10 months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,000 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on April 17. Manson pleaded guilty to these charges on Jan. 29.

Olivia Marita Moore, 26, of Atlanta: a letter carrier assigned to the Old National Branch of the Riverdale Post Office was sentenced to five years, 10 months in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,500 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on July 16. Moore pleaded guilty to these charges on Jan. 5.

Eddie Nash, 64, of Decatur: letter carrier assigned to the West End Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,000 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on July 17. Nash pleaded guilty to these charges on Dec. 14, 2017.

Jeffrey A. Pearson, 61, of Austell: a letter carrier assigned to the Decatur Post Office was sentenced to four years, nine months in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,000 by U.S. District Judge Eleanor L. Ross on May 22. Pearson pleaded guilty to these charges on Feb. 1.

Rodney Antwain Salter, 34, of Jonesboro: a letter carrier assigned to the Martech Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,000 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on May 17. Salter pleaded guilty to these charges on Dec. 20.

Frank Webb, 41, of Lithonia: a letter carrier assigned to the Central City Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to three years, four months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount of $3,000 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on May 16. Webb pleaded guilty to these charges on Jan. 30.

Katrina Nicole Wilson, 39, of Fairburn: a letter carrier assigned to the West End Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to eight years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $9,500 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on Aug. 27. Wilson pleaded guilty to these charges on April 12.

Harvel Donta Young, 41, of Atlanta: a letter carrier assigned to the Westside Annex Branch of the Marietta Post Office was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,800 by U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones on Aug. 14. Young pleaded guilty to these charges on May 1.

Dexter Bernard Frazier, 57, of Fairburn, who participated in some of the deliveries by connecting the confidential source to postal workers, also received a nine-year prison sentence. That will be followed by 10 years of supervised release. Frazier will also have to pay $10,700 in restitution.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, and U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S Attorneys Garrett L. Bradford and Jill E. Steinberg, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, prosecuted the case.


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