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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 20, 2018

Bala Cynwyd, PA Man Sentenced to 87 Months in Federal Prison for Bribing Postal Workers to Deliver Marijuana

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Tafari Riley, of Bala Cynwyd, was sentenced today to 87 months in federal prison for bribing two U.S. mail carriers to deliver packages containing marijuana to various locations in West Philadelphia. 

From April through December 2016, Riley, 26, corruptly paid two United States mail carriers, co-defendants Steven C. Williams and Felicia Charleston, to deliver packages to Riley which were addressed to fictitious individuals and contained large amounts of marijuana. Through this scheme, Riley possessed and distributed a staggering 2,732 kilograms of marijuana. Charleston was sentenced in May to 10 months in prison.  Williams is scheduled to be sentenced on August 1.

Law enforcement twice blocked Riley’s drug trafficking efforts. On Oct. 29, 2016, law enforcement intercepted and seized 158 pounds of marijuana at the post office before it had been delivered to Riley. Then, on September 15, 2017, agents seized 114 pounds of marijuana after it was delivered to Riley for distribution.

“The defendant bribed two federal employees to cultivate a booming marijuana business with no regard for the consequences of his actions,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “He abused the postal system, endangered those who lawfully use it, and corrupted two people entrusted with protecting it. Now he has received the punishment he deserves.” 

The case was investigated by the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General (USPS-OIG), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Border Enforcement Security Taskforce (BEST), and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Bureau of Narcotics Investigations (BNI) and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Anita Eve and Tomika N.S. Patterson.

Updated July 20, 2018