Maybe they thought they were outsmarting the system with their cannabis embezzlement conspiracy. Maybe they thought they were acting nobly, stealing from criminals who, in their minds, deserved to be stolen from. Or maybe, and most likely, they were just bored out of their goddamned minds — they were postal workers after all.
Regardless of why they thought it was a good idea, Laura Mae Campbell and her underling, Derek “Chuck the Sniffer” Miller, were recently indicted on charges of stealing marijuana from packages passing through their mail sorting facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And it wasn’t just a couple of joints they stole, either.
When authorities raided Campbell and The Sniffer’s homes in September, they found over 70 pounds of weed that had been smuggled out of USPS packages and stored neatly away. That’s no personal stash. That is quantity with intent to sell. And any time someone is busted with that much pot in a place like Oklahoma, it's near guaranteed there will be months spent behind bars.
As the story goes: "The Sniffer" had approached Campbell, his manager, with the juicy idea sometime in fall of 2015. Because it was such a difficult task to accomplish secretly, he offered Campbell a share of the goods in exchange for a little "lookout” service.
“I was looking for high-grade marijuana mailed from a state on the west coast that I could remove and steal,” Sniffer states in his plea. “Because it was difficult to do this in secret, I approached [Campbell] and asked her to assist for a share of the marijuana I found and removed from parcel.”
Their system was crude, but apparently also effective. One would identify packages containing cannabis — literally sniffing them out — and open them up to extract whatever greeny goodness was inside. All while Campbell turned a blind eye, and made sure her accomplice didn’t get caught in the act.
Everything was going swimmingly, right up until July of 2017.
That was when police received an anonymous hotline tip, that two postal service workers were involved in a conspiracy to steal marijuana out of mailed packages. Officers began surveillance on the two USPS employees in August, and by December, Campbell was being sentenced for one count of conspiracy, one count of drug conspiracy, and 13 counts of using her phone to text Chuck the Sniffer about their drug operation. She faces 14 months in prison.
And as for The Sniffer? He will be sentenced in April of this year.
So, if you happened to mail any kind of cannabis product to a friend somewhere in Oklahoma in the past few years and it never made it, now you know why. That’s tough luck. But at least the two crooks responsible are facing the consequences of their honorless actions.
That’s a rare outcome for people who steal illegal drugs from their rightful owners.