News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2008
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-1162

Postal Carrier Jailed for Distribution of Marijuana on Mail Route

OCT 02 -- (Portland) – DEA Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Arnold R. Moorin and the United States Attorney for the District of Oregon, Karin J. Immergut, announced that U.S Postal Carrier Ronald Richard Berkan, 48, was sentenced on September 30, 2008, in U.S District Court to 18 months in prison. Berkan was sentenced following his guilty plea on April 9, 2008, to a charge of distribution of marijuana to a person under 21 years of age, which occurred on his mail route in the Cedar Mill area of Washington County.

The investigation began in 2006 when the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S Postal Service received a citizen complaint that a uniformed postal carrier was offering marijuana for sale. After Berkan was identified as the suspect, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) joined OIG in an 11-month investigation that led to Berkan’s arrest and search of his residence where 47 marijuana plants and almost nine pounds of marijuana was found. A significant break in the investigation occurred when Lake Oswego Police Department arrested a 19-year old who had been buying marijuana from Berkan since the buyer was in high school. As part of Berkan’s agreement with the prosecution, he resigned from the Postal Service on April 15, 2008, where he had worked for almost 15 years.

The success of this investigation is attributed to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S Postal Service-Office of Inspector General, the Westside Interagency Narcotics Team, the Lake Oswego Police Department, and the District of Oregon United States Attorney’s Office.