Two Postal Workers Indicted for Funneling Marijuana Through Mail Route

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Two Postal Workers Indicted for Funneling Marijuana Through Mail Route

By Seth Ferranti 01/18/17

The workers are accused of pushing over 100 kilos of marijuana to three drug Philadelphia organizations.

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Full mailbox.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has indicted nine people, including two postal workers, in a marijuana trafficking organization.

The ring, which operated out of West Philadelphia, was charged with conspiring to distribute at least 100 kilograms of cannabis. The two United States Postal Service (USPS) workers, Steven C. Williams and Felicia Charleston, are accused of diverting packages containing marijuana to their co-conspirators while working at the West Market Post Office in the Walnut Hill section of the city. They each face up to life in prison if convicted and multimillion dollar fines, according to a Justice Department release.

In the indictments, Williams has been charged with conspiring to bribe public officials to distribute marijuana. Both USPS workers are accused of diverting packages containing cannabis to "marijuana organizations" for cash, while straying from their postal routes in West Philadelphia.

“This indictment is a great example of how our different law enforcement partners can combine resources to combat corruption within the federal government," Acting U.S. Attorney Louis D. Lappen said in a press release. "The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to investigate and prosecute postal service and other federal employees who undermine the integrity of government operations through bribery and other unlawful conduct.”

USPS inspectors seized 42,000 pounds of marijuana stashed in roughly 7,600 parcels in 2012, according to Grasscity. Since the legalization of marijuana in certain states, USPS has reported that packages containing illegal substances rose by 20% in 2013, resulting in 26,622 arrests, 68% of those for marijuana.

USPS offers a $50,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of a person using the postal service for mailing illicit substances—not a bad incentive for fellow USPS employees looking to make an easy buck.

“The vast majority of the Postal Service’s 600,000 employees nationwide are dedicated, hard-working individuals worthy of America’s trust," said Monica Weyler, U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge in Philadelphia.

"However, a very small number of them choose to violate that trust by engaging in misconduct or criminal activity. Special agents with the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General work with other law enforcement agencies to find those employees, investigate them, and seek their criminal prosecution and removal from the Postal Service, as we did in this case.”

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After landing on the US Marshals Top-15 Most Wanted list and being sentenced to a 25 year sentence in federal prison for a first-time, nonviolent LSD offense, Seth built a writing and journalism career from his cell block. His raw portrayals of prison life and crack era gangsters graced the pages of Don DivaHoopshype and VICE. From prison he established Gorilla Convict, a true-crime publisher and website that documents the stories that the mainstream media can’t get with books like Prison Stories and Street Legends. His story has been covered by The Washington PostThe Washington Times, and Rolling Stone.

Since his release in 2015 he’s worked hard to launch GR1ND Studios, where true crime and comics clash. GR1ND Studios is bringing variety to the comic shelf by way of the American underground. These groundbreaking graphic novels tell the true story of prohibition-era mobsters, inner-city drug lords, and suburban drug dealers. Seth is currently working out of St. Louis, Missouri, writing for The FixVICEOZY, Daily Beast, and Penthouse and moving into the world of film. Check out his first short, Easter Bunny Assassin at sethferranti.com. You can find Seth on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.

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