Although dope-stuffed packages and envelopes frequently pass through the U.S. postal system, it’s not often that federal employees are involved in the distribution. At least until this past week, when 16 Atlanta-area USPS workers were caught accepting bribes to deliver cocaine along their driving routes.
Before their elaborate strategy was discovered, the drivers would give special addresses to traffickers, who would have their shipments sent to those particular locations. Then, the drivers would intercept the coke-loaded packages and deliver them to the door of the trafficker, prosecutors claim.
Several employees allegedly went even further, recruiting underlings to deliver their drug packages and taking a cut of the money their recruits earned.
The dealers’ and distributors’ methods were revealed during a sting operation in which the “trafficker” was working with law enforcement and the packages contained fake drugs. All 16 delivery drivers were immediately arrested.
Of course, the members of this gang of federally-employed drug dealers weren’t the first to exploit their positions at USPS. Drivers have accepted bribes to deliver drugs in the past. But they’ve also done plenty worse.
A mailman in New York City was recently caught stealing more than $1 million in tax refunds. Another in Chicago pilfered $275,00 from a charity on his route. Yet another stole prescription painkillers mailed to war vets in her area, then sold those drugs to others on her route.
Clearly, being a USPS employee offers endless opportunities for crime. Among all our current concerns about the U.S. government, we can now add that the virtue of our mailmen may be vulnerable to corruption.