Think twice before you mail those “special” packages:
“OCTOBER 14–When a suspicious package arrived last month at a New York City post office, it was set aside for examination by postal inspectors since the 12-pound Express Mail package appeared consistent with parcels that had been previously used to ship narcotics across the country.
The cardboard box was placed for safekeeping on a supervisor’s desk in the Queens post office. But before the package could be examined by investigators, a postal employee allegedly took the parcel from the supervisor’s desk and, with the help of a coworker, cut open the box and removed a brick of marijuana.
The pair’s actions on September 10 were caught on a surveillance camera, according to a criminal complaint filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.
According to the felony complaint, Lori Allen took the package from the desk and opened it with Coretta Womack, who put “several small square shaped boxes” back into the plundered package. Womack then added bubble wrap and re-sealed the parcel, according to federal agent Steven Demayo.
On September 26, when postal inspectors retrieved the suspicious package, they “observed signs of tampering as the parcel appeared to have been opened and re-taped closed.” Investigators also determined that the package weighed six pounds less than it did when initially mailed from California to New York.
A subsequent review of surveillance tapes resulted in the arrest Wednesday of Allen and Womack. Court filings indicate that both women confessed to stealing the marijuana inside the package. Womack told probers that over the past few months she had stolen approximately 20 other packages, about four of which contained narcotics. Both Womack and Allen claimed to have received between $1000 and $2000 for the respective hijacked narcotics.
Womack, who immediately began cooperating with federal agents, said that the narcotics were fenced through Wayne Wilson, an acquaintance who lived near the Rosedale post office. After his arrest, Wilson told investigators that Womack told him several months ago that she had access to “parcels containing narcotics.”
Wilson told agents that he eventually purchased intercepted marijuana shipments from Womack on about six occasions, paying between $4500 and $7000 per parcel depending on weight.
Allen, Womack, and Wilson are each facing federal raps related to the pilfering scheme. Allen is free on $25,000 bond, while Womack and Wilson were freed yesterday on $50,000 bond.