Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal jury convicted former letter carrier Takisha Cole, age 33, of Washington, D.C. late on Friday, July 24, 2015 of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, use of a communications device to facilitate drug trafficking and bribery.
The conviction was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Paul Bowman of the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General; Acting Postal Inspector in Charge David M. McGinnis of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Washington Division; and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.
From at least March 2011 through September 2014, Cole was employed by the U.S. Postal Service as a letter carrier, assigned to a route serving the Silver Spring, Maryland area. Cole was responsible for delivering packages sent through the U.S. Postal Service to the appropriate addresses on her route.
According to court documents and evidence presented at Cole’s five-day trial, from at least May 2013 through August 13, 2014, Michael Prandy paid Cole to use her position as a letter carrier to obtain and deliver packages containing marijuana to Prandy. The packages were sent from California and elsewhere and mailed via USPS to Prandy’s residence in Silver Spring. In August 2013, Prandy’s address was removed from Cole’s postal route. Even though Prandy’s address was no longer on her postal route, Cole continued to pick up his packages at the Silver Spring Postal Annex and deliver them to Prandy’s residence on McAlpine Road. According to trial testimony, in return for delivering the packages, Prandy paid Cole $50 to $100 per package, which he placed in an envelope and left in the mailbox at his residence for Cole to pick up.
The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana.
Cole faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for possession with intent to distribute marijuana; four years in prison for use of a communications device to facilitate drug trafficking; and 15 years in prison for bribery. U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang has scheduled sentencing for October 19, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.
Michael Louis Prandy, age 39, of Silver Spring, Maryland previously pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy. Judge Chuang scheduled Prandy’s sentencing for August 4, 2015, at 9:30 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the U.S. Postal Service -OIG, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Deborah A. Johnston and Ray D. McKenzie, who are prosecuting the case.