Eight United States Postal Service employees at the Logistical and Distribution Priority Mail Processing Center in Bethpage, Long Island (“Bethpage L&DC”) were arrested last night and charged with theft of mail and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 129 pounds of marijuana over a six-month period. The criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in Central Islip charging Kempleton Nash, Jr., Eugene Williams, Timothy Marshall, Jerrod Rollerson, Tanicha Grenald-Allen, Sherwin Parkes, Lloyd Johnson and Jose Hurtado. The defendants are scheduled to appear this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Gary Brown at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York.
The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Rafael Medina, Special Agent-in-Charge, United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, and James J. Hunt, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York. The investigation was conducted by the USPS-OIG and the DEA’s Long Island District Office Task Force, which is comprised of agents and officers from the DEA, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and the Hempstead Police Department.
As detailed in the criminal complaint, U.S. Priority Mail shipping is increasingly becoming a method of transporting and delivering controlled substances across the United States. In this case, rather than alerting law enforcement agents to the presence of suspicious packages, the defendants allegedly stole the parcels from the processing line and placed them in a corridor outside the Bethpage L&DC accessed by a fire exit door whose alarm had been disabled. The defendants then retrieved the parcels from the corridor and carried the packages out of the building through the lobby of the adjacent business park. The defendants were also observed removing parcels from the processing line, and then attaching new labels re-directing delivery to alternative addresses. After “overlabeling” the parcels, the defendants allegedly reinserted the parcels into the normal line for delivery to the new destination. Between September and November, federal agents obtained search warrants for 12 of the “overlabeled” parcels, which resulted in the seizure of some 129 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated street value ranging from $100,000 to $930,000.
“Abusing their positions of trust as postal employees, the defendants allegedly stole hundreds of packages to further their drug dealing efforts,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “We and our partners in law enforcement are committed to ensuring that government employees act with the degree of integrity that the public expects and deserves.” Ms. Lynch also thanked the United States Postal Inspection Service, the New York State Police and the Suffolk County Police Department for their assistance in the investigation.
“The conduct alleged in the criminal complaint is beyond disgraceful and our office will continue to tirelessly investigate those postal service employees who violate the public’s trust,” stated USPS-OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Medina. “The dedicated work of the hundreds of thousands of postal service employees should never be overshadowed by those who compromise their integrity for personal gain.”
“By allegedly targeting and stealing suspiciously shaped priority packages sent from the West Coast to further their drug trafficking network, the defendants became targets of investigation themselves. Not only did the defendants allegedly abuse their positions as Postal Service employees, but in doing so they endangered the security of the postal service facility and their coworkers,” stated DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Hunt. “I applaud the work of the USPS-OIG and the federal, state and local law enforcement partners who worked on this investigation.”
The charges in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charles N. Rose.
KEMPLETON NASH, JR. Age: 29 Cambria Heights, New York
EUGENE WILLIAMS Age: 37 Brentwood, New York
TIMOTHY MARSHALL Age: 28 Far Rockaway, New York
JERROD ROLLERSON Age: 25 Hempstead, New York
TANICHA GRENALD-ALLEN Age: 36 Brooklyn, New York
SHERWIN PARKES Age: 36 Brooklyn, New York
LLOYD JOHNSON Age: 34 St. Albans, New York
JOSE HURTADO Age: 43 North Bellmore, New York