ATLANTA — Sixteen different U.S. Postal Service employees working in locations across metro Atlanta have been charged in connection with an investigation into cocaine distribution.
According to three separate federal indictments unsealed Tuesday, the employees allegedly took bribes in exchange for delivering packages of kilogram quantities of cocaine in a wide-reaching state operation.
“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," U.S. Attorney John Horn said.
According to the indictments, the USPS employees allegedly accepted bribes from a person they believed was a drug trafficker using the U.S. mail to ship cocaine -- multiple kilograms at a time -- into the Atlanta area.
In exchange for the bribe payments, the workers allegedly provided special addresses that the drug trafficker could use to ship packages of cocaine.
According to the indictments, the suspects then intercepted the packages and delivered them to the drug trafficker. Unbeknownst to them, the drug trafficker was actually working with law enforcement and the packages they delivered contained fake drugs, Horn said.
“The allegations contained in these federal indictments are disturbing, to say the least,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office. “The blatant abdication of the public trust through the criminal conduct of these 16 U.S. Postal Service employees, absolutely stains the established trust of their peers and those that went before them at the U.S. Postal Service.”
In addition, according to the indictment, some of the postal employees went on to recruit additional USPS employees to join the criminal scheme and accepted additional money for drug packages delivered by their recruits.
Authorities said 56-year-old Dexter Bernard Frazier, of Fairburn, Georgia, was also charged based on his role in introducing several of the suspects to the drug trafficker and coordinating logistics of the scheme in exchange for payments.
“While the vast majority of U.S. Postal Service personnel are hard-working and trustworthy individuals who are dedicated to delivering mail and would never consider engaging in criminal behavior, these charges reflect the select few who decided to betray the trust,” said Paul L. Bowman, USPS OIG Special Agent in Charge, Capital Metro Area Field Office. “This type of behavior within the Postal Service is not tolerated and when employees engage in criminal behavior, the special agents of the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG) vigorously investigate these matters, along with other federal and local law enforcement agencies, to hold accountable those employees who violate that public trust.”
Below is a list of the suspects:
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