While the legal marijuana industry continues its rapid rise, there are no shortages of black market sales within the U.S.—in both legal and non-legal states alike. One of the biggest perpetrators of trafficking product has been, ironically enough, government workers.
However, it appears law enforcement is beginning to catch on, as two separate U.S. postal workers have been caught complicity delivering cannabis packages in just the last week alone.
USPS Employees Caught Delivering Cannabis Packages
The two USPS Employees caught delivering cannabis packages may have had similar visions of “greener” pastures ahead, but their schemes weren’t intertwined in any way.
The first perpetrator was 33-year-old Mobile, Alabama postman Unterria Rogers, who was sentenced to five years in jail on Tuesday for conducting an underground cannabis delivery service during his USPS route. He was officially charged with using a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, a felony.
According to Alabama news site AI.com, Rogers admitted to delivering around 133 pounds of marijuana on his route. Rogers would pick the packages up from California and for every pound successfully delivered, the USPS worker would pocket $250.
Law enforcement first became aware of the scheme after a USPS database recorded an unusually high number of packages being sent to Mobile. Their inklings were proven correct after undercover surveillance footage depicted Rogers delivering drug packages and accepting cash from third-party collaborators.
Another man, 44-year old Uford Davis, was also found complicit in the scheme and was sentenced to 12 months for possession of drugs with intent to distribute.
A Second Arrest
A second, unrelated arrest was made on Tuesday in New Jersey, where 47-year-old Newark resident Fred Rivers was convicted of intercepting cannabis-filled packages and delivering them to a drug dealer for cash payment.
According to NBC New York, the Springfield-based post officer would receive $100 for each package delivered between the dates of October 2016 and September 2017. Each package contained a fictitious name but legitimate Newark addresses. Rivers would falsely scan that the packages were delivered to their respective addresses, but would instead bring them to a third-party conspirator at the post office’s employee parking lot.
Rivers, who will be formally sentenced on October 29th, faces up to five years in prison.
Considering the fact that cannabis has taken approximately zero lives, these sentences appear to be a bit on the extreme side, to say the least. Factoring in the non-violent nature of the crimes and the vast amount of taxpayer money used to incarcerate marijuana “offenders,” the faster we decriminalize cannabis on a federal level, the better.