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Press Release

Lowell Postal Carrier Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Bribe Supervisor to Divert Packages of Cocaine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Lowell postal worker pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to attempting to bribe a postal supervisor and sell them cocaine.

John Noviello, of Nashua, N.H., 61, pleaded guilty to one count of bribery of a public official and one count of distribution of cocaine. U.S. District Court Judge Angel Kelley scheduled sentencing for Feb. 14, 2023. Noviello was charged on May 11, 2022.

Noviello was a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in Lowell. On Feb. 15, 2022, Noviello approached a U.S. Postal supervisor seeking their assistance in a scheme to divert postal packages suspected of containing cocaine. Noviello offered to pay the supervisor $1,750 per kilogram of cocaine successfully obtained from any diverted packages. On Feb. 17, 2022, Noviello left $850 in cash, concealed in a Dunkin’ bag, inside the supervisor’s vehicle in an attempt to encourage the supervisor to agree to the scheme. Noviello, referring to the $850, later commented to the supervisor, “that was a nice envelope for starters.” After contacting authorities, the supervisor conducted a controlled purchase from Noviello during which the defendant distributed approximately 3.7 grams of cocaine for $200.

The charge of bribery of a public official provides for a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of distribution of cocaine provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Matthew Modafferi, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Area Office; and Ketty Larco Ward, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Mulcahy of Rollins’ Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.

Updated November 2, 2022

Drug Trafficking