Two postal workers were included among nine people that were indicted for participating in a far-reaching drug distribution ring operating out of West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Felicia Charleston and Steven C. Williams could face serious consequences for their actions, including fines in excess of a million dollars and lifetime in prison.
According to authorities, the two postal workers had used their jobs at the West Market Post Office to enable them to send over a hundred pounds of marijuana. The drugs were sent to three separate drug distribution organizations.
The indictment, which was brought by Acting United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen, alleges that Williams and Charleston used their positions at the West Market Post Office to divert packages from their intended West Philadelphia addresses, instead delivering them to the addresses at which the drug organizations were located.
According to the indictment, the two postal workers would regularly leave their scheduled routes in West Philadelphia in order to deliver the divert packages. The packages that were diverted contained marijuana, and after the packages were delivered to the drug organizations, the marijuana contained within was parceled out and sold. In addition to the two postal workers, seven other people were accused of being involved in the drug distribution ring.
Acting U.S. Attorney Lappen was proud that law enforcement was able to identify the postal workers who were diverting packages, stating that it was a good example of how police and federal employees could work together to combat corruption within their respective organizations.
The Inspector General of the United States Postal Service, Monica Weyler, emphasized that the vast majority of the 600,000 Americans employed by the Postal Service were hardworking, law-abiding citizens. Nevertheless, she acknowledge that “a very small number of them” might betray the trust that has been placed in them by breaking the law.
It is important to recall that an indictment is not a confirmation of guilt, but is instead an accusation. While these charges have been brought against the two postal workers, they are presumed to be innocent until a proper trial has determined whether or not they are guilty of wrongdoing.
Regardless of whether or not Charleston and Williams are found to be guilty, marijuana and other substances are frequently sent through the U.S. Mail, often being placed in excessive wrapping or hidden inside of another object in order to throw U.S. Mail Inspectors off the trail. In order to inspecting mail, the Post Office offers a considerable reward for identifying someone who is sending drugs through the mail: $50,000.
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