FBI: Mail carriers deliver cocaine door-to-door in suburban Atlanta

The workers appeared in court on Wednesday.

ATLANTA – A small package inside a small mailbox with a price tag of more than $150,000. What if your friendly neighborhood mailman was holding a secret in his mail bag, rather, kilos of secrets?

That’s what was going on, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), throughout the suburbs—the mail carrier would give the drug dealers real addresses and then intercept the packages of cocaine.

“Postal employees are entrusted with a vital service. They're often visiting people's homes and having personal interaction with our citizens. And the defendants in this case allegedly breached that critical trust,” U.S. Attorney John Horn said of the 16 mail carriers, who are now indicated in the scheme to move cocaine through suburban Atlanta neighborhoods.

“They have violated the public's trust, they have let the citizens down. Endangered their own coworkers by their activity and tarnished the reputation of USPS,” David LaValle, an FBI special agent in charge, said.

“For a simple extra few bucks in their pockets, they were willing to bring dangerous drugs, what they believed to be dangerous drugs I to our community,” Horn said. 

According to Horn, the accused mail carriers, from five different post offices, accepted bribes and ran, what they thought was, kilos worth of cocaine, putting everyone in danger, including coworkers and residents.

“Drug trafficking is inherently a dangerous activity and it gets even more dangerous for the people involved in it,” Horn said. “They've been robbed, they've been shot. There was an instance in our district here where a postal carrier was shot. And what you can imagine is that the intersection of drug activity with a postal carrier in the community creates a culture for violence.”

MORE | Postal workers busted for allegedly running a drug-distribution operation

The FBI began the investigation more than 18 months ago, after getting a tip that drug dealers were running drugs through the mail system.

In the sting operation, they planted a fake drug dealer to see how many mail carriers would get in on the scheme.

In exchange for the bribe payments, these workers allegedly agreed to provide special addresses to the drug trafficker to ship packages of cocaine. Investigators said the defendants then intercepted the packages and delivered them to the drug trafficker, who happened to be working with law enforcement. The packages they delivered contained fake drugs, LaValle said.

Some of the postal workers allegedly recruited additional USPS employees to join the criminal scheme, and accepted additional money for drug packages delivered by their recruits.

Horn called the allegations disturbing.

“The defendants in this case allegedly sold that trust out to someone they knew to be a drug dealer, and simply for cash in their pockets they were willing to endanger themselves and the residents on their routes and bring harmful drugs into the community,” he said.

All the mail carriers are currently out on bond, but the FBI said, the investigation will continue.

“It's our hope that a case like this will be a deterrent to others who would use their public office for personal gain,” LaValle said. “The FBI holds public corruption as a high priority and will expend the resources to prosecute people who engage in this activity.”

The USPS employees arrested included:

• Cydra Rochelle Alexander, 31, of Riverdale, Ga., a letter carrier assigned to the Ralph McGill Carrier Annex and Central City Branch of the Atlanta Post Office.
• Aurthamis O. Burch, “Tank,” 46, of Snellville, Ga., a letter carrier assigned to the Doraville Post Office.
• Kawana Rashun Champion, 35, of Jonesboro, Ga., a clerk assigned to the North Springs Branch of the Sandy Springs Post Office and Central City Branch of the Atlanta Post Office.
• Eleanor Lolita Golden, known as Eleanor Johnson, 54, of East Point, Ga., a letter carrier assigned to the West End Branch of the Atlanta Post Office.
• Tonie Harris, 54, of Decatur, Ga., a letter carrier assigned to the Sandy Springs Post Office.
• Leea Janel Holt, 38, of Atlanta, Ga., a letter carrier assigned to the Old National Branch of the Riverdale Post Office.
• Clifton Curtis Lee, “Cliff,” 41, of Lithonia, Ga., a letter carrier assigned to the Sandy Springs Post Office.
• Shakeed Anilah Magee, 40, of College Park, Ga., a letter carrier assigned to the West End Branch of the Atlanta Post Office.

• Horace Manson, 40, of Roswell, Ga., a letter carrier assigned to the West End Branch of the Atlanta Post Office.
• Olivia Marita Moore, 25, of Atlanta, Ga., a letter carrier assigned to the Old National Branch of the Riverdale Post Office.
• Eddie Nash, 63, of Decatur, Ga., a letter carrier assigned to the West End Branch of the Atlanta Post Office.
• Jeffrey A. Pearson, 59, of Austell, Ga., a letter carrier assigned to the Decatur Post Office.
• Rodney Antwain Salter, 33, of Jonesboro, Ga., a letter carrier assigned to the Martech Branch of the Atlanta Post Office.
• Frank Webb, 40, of Lithonia, Ga., a letter carrier assigned to the Central City Branch of the Atlanta Post Office.
• Katrina Nicole Wilson, “Trina,” 38, of Fairburn, Ga., a letter carrier assigned to the West End Branch of the Atlanta Post Office.
• Harvel Donta Young, “Dante,” 39, of Atlanta, Ga., a letter carrier assigned to the Westside Annex Branch of the Marietta Post Office.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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