Kansas City letter carrier charged with conspiracy to distribute PCP through the mail

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Kansas City, Mo., postal carrier and a California man have been charged in federal court for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute multi-kilogram quantities of PCP through the mail.

Michael Garrett, 56, of Victorville, Calif., and Carol Barfield, 64, were charged in a criminal complaint filed under seal in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., on March 29, 2016. That complaint was unsealed and made public today upon the arrests and initial court appearances of Garrett and Barfield.

inspectorThe federal criminal complaint alleges that Garrett and Barfield participated in a conspiracy to distribute PCP from Nov. 2, 2015, to March 4, 2016. Garrett allegedly mailed bottles of PCP from California to addresses on Barfield’s Kansas City, Mo., postal route, so that she could identify those parcels and mark them as delivered, while actually keeping them to distribute to others.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the complaint, federal agents learned that Garrett was mailing parcels containing gallons of PCP to separate addresses on the same postal carrier’s route; the carrier was later identified as Barfield. Agents identified five suspicious transactions from the Victorville post office, mailing a total of 15 parcels addressed to separate addresses on the same carrier route from Nov. 2 to Dec. 16, 2015. Each of the parcels weighed in excess of 10 pounds. Barfield allegedly scanned all of the suspicious mailings as “delivered” on her route.

Agents also identified 61 telephone calls between Barfield and Garrett during the same time frame, the affidavit says.

On March 1, 2016, surveillance video identified Garrett mailing four parcels at the Victorville post office. The four parcels were mailed to separate addresses on Barfield’s postal route, the affidavit says, but were addressed to individuals who did not reside at those addresses. On March 4, 2016, federal agents set up surveillance on Barfield’s postal route. Barfield loaded the parcels into her postal vehicle. She scanned the first parcel as delivered, the affidavit says, but she did not actually deliver the parcel.

According to the affidavit, agents believe that Barfield then realized she was being followed by law enforcement, so she delivered one of the parcels as addressed and scanned the other parcels as undeliverable. Prior to returning to the station, the affidavit says, she rescanned the first parcel (which she had originally scanned as “delivered”) as “undeliverable.” When she returned to the station, the affidavit says, Barfield told her supervisor that she saw people following her on the route.

Agents opened the suspicious parcels, which each contained two 64-ounce plastic Welch’s Grape Juice bottles of PCP. The total weight of the liquid from the eight bottles was approximately 13.4 kilograms.

Dickinson cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin G. Davids. It was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration.