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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

U.S. Postal Service Workers Sentenced for Accepting Bribes to Deliver Cocaine through the Mail

ATLANTA – The last defendant of a group of 16 U.S. Postal Service letter carriers and clerks from across the Atlanta area was sentenced to federal prison for accepting bribes to deliver packages of cocaine – two kilograms or more at a time – in a wide-reaching undercover operation.  The defendants were willing to make the deliveries for bribes as low as $250, and received sentences of between three and nine years in prison.

“U.S. Postal Service workers are typically valuable members of the community, entrusted to deliver the mail every day to our homes,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “This important operation identified and prosecuted 16 corrupt individuals who chose to abuse that trust and instead used their positions to bring what they thought were large amounts of dangerous drugs into those same communities for a quick payoff.”

“The FBI places a high priority on public corruption based investigations and we hope this sentencing will serve as a deterrent for others,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office. “The blatant abuse of the public trust in this case not only stains the reputation of all U.S. Postal Service employees, but it puts the residents on their routes in significant danger by bringing drugs into their community.”

“Postal employees are paid to deliver mail, not drugs,” said Imari R. Niles, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, Capital Metro Area Field Office.  “The vast majority of the Postal Service’s 600,000 employees are hard-working, trustworthy individuals. When postal employees decide to risk their job, benefits, retirement, and freedom to get involved with drug trafficking, Special Agents of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General will work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney's Office to put them all in federal prison.”

“Drug trafficking, in itself, is an inherently dangerous crime,” said Sherry Boston, DeKalb County District Attorney. “When perpetrated by those in positions of public trust, citizen safety is severely compromised.  The DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to ferret out cases of public corruption and ensure that those who abuse their authority and violate the public’s trust, are held accountable for their actions.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: In 2015, federal agents involved in the dismantling of a drug trafficking organization in Atlanta learned that drug traffickers had been bribing postal workers to intercept and specially deliver packages of drugs while they were on their regular routes, including through residential neighborhoods.  The drug traffickers believed the postal workers were less likely to be caught by law enforcement because of their official jobs, and found that the corrupt postal workers were willing to hand deliver the drugs in exchange for bribes.  That criminal partnership exploited the U.S. Postal Service to deliver dangerous drugs into the community, and also increased the risk that innocent postal workers and bystanders on their routes would be exposed to the dangerous substances or to rival drug traffickers who sometimes try to rob postal workers to steal packages of drugs.

To catch the corrupt postal workers, federal agents used a confidential source who posed as a drug trafficker looking for postal workers to deliver packages of kilogram quantities of cocaine or marijuana.  The defendants agreed to deliver the packages and negotiated the amount of the bribes they would charge, while law enforcement agents watched from a distance and recorded the interactions.  All the defendants chose to deliver cocaine instead of marijuana, believing they could charge a higher bribe for packages of cocaine.  They also agreed to deliver packages on multiple occasions over a period of time.  When the confidential source asked if they knew any other postal workers who did the same thing, some of the defendants introduced the confidential source to coworkers who also wanted to deliver packages (with the defendant claiming an additional bribe for every package their recruit delivered). 

The defendants convicted as a result of this operation include:

  • Cydra Rochelle Alexander, 33, of Riverdale, Georgia, a letter carrier assigned to the Ralph McGill Carrier Annex and Central City Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to five years, 10 months in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount of $4,500 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on February 22, 2018.  Alexander pleaded guilty to these charges on November 27, 2017.
     
  • Aurthamis O. Burch, a/k/a Tank, 47, of Snellville, Georgia, a letter carrier assigned to the Doraville Post Office was sentenced to three years, 10 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount of $1,500 by U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones on April 10, 2018.  Burch pleaded guilty to these charges on December 11, 2017.
     
  • Kawana Rashun Champion, 36, of Jonesboro, Georgia, a clerk assigned to the North Springs Branch of the Sandy Springs Post Office and Central City Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to nine years in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount of $10,500 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on May 11, 2018.  Champion pleaded guilty to these charges on February 20, 2018.
     
  • Eleanor Lolita Golden, a/k/a Eleanor Johnson, 55, of East Point, Georgia, a letter carrier assigned to the West End Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to six years in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,500 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on May 17, 2018.  Golden pleaded guilty to these charges on December 20, 2017.
     
  • Tonie Harris, 55, of Decatur, Georgia, a letter carrier assigned to the Sandy Springs Post Office was sentenced to three years, one month in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,450 by U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones on August 14, 2018.  Harris pleaded guilty to these charges on March 20, 2018.
     
  • Leea Janel Holt, 39, of Atlanta, Georgia, a letter carrier assigned to the Old National Branch of the Riverdale Post Office was sentenced to 6 years, 6 months in prison to be followed by 4 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,500 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on November 27, 2018.  Holt pleaded guilty to these charges on June 6 and August 28, 2018.
     
  • Clifton Curtis Lee, a/k/a Cliff, 43, of Lithonia, Georgia, a letter carrier assigned to the Sandy Springs Post Office was sentenced to three years, 10 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,800 by U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones on June 18, 2018.  Lee pleaded guilty to these charges on February 28, 2018.
     
  • Shakeed Anilah Magee, 41, of College Park, Georgia, a letter carrier assigned to the West End Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,000 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on February 13, 2018.  Magee pleaded guilty to these charges on November 14, 2017.
     
  • Horace Manson, 41, of Roswell, Georgia, a letter carrier assigned to the West End Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to three years, 10 months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,000 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on April 17, 2018.  Manson pleaded guilty to these charges on January 29, 2018.
     
  • Olivia Marita Moore, 26, of Atlanta, Georgia, a letter carrier assigned to the Old National Branch of the Riverdale Post Office was sentenced to five years, 10 months in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,500 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on July 16, 2018.  Moore pleaded guilty to these charges on January 5, 2018.
     
  • Eddie Nash, 64, of Decatur, Georgia, a letter carrier assigned to the West End Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,000 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on July 17, 2018.  Nash pleaded guilty to these charges on December 14, 2017.
     
  • Jeffrey A. Pearson, 61, of Austell, Georgia, a letter carrier assigned to the Decatur Post Office was sentenced to four years, nine months in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,000 by U.S. District Judge Eleanor L. Ross on May 22, 2018.  Pearson pleaded guilty to these charges on February 1, 2018.
     
  • Rodney Antwain Salter, 34, of Jonesboro, Georgia, a letter carrier assigned to the Martech Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,000 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on May 17, 2018.  Salter pleaded guilty to these charges on December 20, 2017.
     
  • Frank Webb, 41, of Lithonia, Georgia, a letter carrier assigned to the Central City Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to three years, four months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount of $3,000 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on May 16, 2018.  Webb pleaded guilty to these charges on January 30, 2018.
     
  • Katrina Nicole Wilson, a/k/a Trina, 39, of Fairburn, Georgia, a letter carrier assigned to the West End Branch of the Atlanta Post Office was sentenced to eight years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $9,500 by U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on August 27, 2018.  Wilson pleaded guilty to these charges on April 12, 2018.
     
  • Harvel Donta Young, a/k/a Dante, 41, of Atlanta, Georgia a letter carrier assigned to the Westside Annex Branch of the Marietta Post Office was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,800 by U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones on August 14, 2018.  Young pleaded guilty to these charges on May 1, 2018.    

Additionally, Dexter Bernard Frazier, a/k/a Dec, 57, of Fairburn, Georgia, who was not a postal employee but participated in some of the package deliveries by connecting the confidential source with postal workers, was sentenced to nine years in prison to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $10,700 by U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones on June 13, 2018.  Frazier pleaded guilty to these charges on March 6, 2018.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, and U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.

Assistant U.S Attorneys Garrett L. Bradford and Jill E. Steinberg, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, prosecuted the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site: www.justthinktwice.gov.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Public Corruption
Updated November 27, 2018