NEWARK, N.J. – A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail carrier was indicted today on charges that he accepted cash bribes in return for intercepting and delivering parcels containing illegal narcotics and conspiring to defraud the United States, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Fred Rivers, 46, of Newark, was charged by indictment with receiving bribes as a public official and conspiracy to defraud the United States by interfering with and obstructing the lawful function of the USPS. Rivers will be arraigned at a later date.
According to documents filed in this case:
Rivers was a mail carrier at the USPS Springfield Station in Newark. From October 2016 through September 2017, Rivers accepted cash bribes from Glenn Blackstone, who received parcels containing illegal narcotics through the mail. While on duty, Rivers intercepted these parcels and personally delivered them to Blackstone at locations in Newark, not to the recipient address noted on the parcels. Rivers received cash payments of approximately $100 from Blackstone for each delivery.
Rivers began delivering the intercepted parcels to Blackstone in exchange for cash after another mail carrier, Leonard Gresham, asked Rivers to make the deliveries when Gresham was unavailable to do so.
Gresham pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme on Feb. 13, 2018. Blackstone pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme on April 17, 2018. They are both awaiting sentencing.
The bribery charge is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison. Both charges carry a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain from the offense.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents with the USPS Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modafferi, Northeast Area Field Office, and inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James Buthorn, with the investigation leading to today’s indictment.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jihee G. Suh of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
Defense counsel: Paulette Pitt Esq., Woodbridge, New Jersey