The acting manager of two D.C. post offices and two of his employees took bribes in exchange for illegally delivering packages of marijuana, according to an indictment filed Thursday in D.C. federal court.
Deenvaughn Rowe is charged, along with letter carriers Kendra Brantley and Alicia Norman, with bribery and distribution of a controlled substance. All three were arrested Thursday.
According to the indictment, Rowe would monitor the arrival of marijuana packages at the Lamond Riggs and River Terrace post offices. He would then instruct Brantley and Norman to meet individuals, who would offer cash in exchange for the packages, on the street during their routes. They gave the cash to Rowe, according to the indictment. Between September 2015 and August of 2016, Rowe allegedly deposited $31,485 in bribes into his bank accounts.
It is not clear how the arrangement benefited Brantley and Norman.
To cover up the scheme, authorities, say, the two carriers would either fail to scan or scan with false information the packages containing marijuana.
Authorities appear to have been monitoring the trio since at least March. According to the indictment, that month and during the next two months, Brantley and Norman were repeatedly seen exchanging packages for cash with someone in a white Range Rover with California license plates. Phone calls among the three defendants were recorded before, during and after those deliveries.
The packages were coming from California and Oregon, according to the indictment. California residents will vote this fall on a ballot initiative to fully legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Oregon legalized the sale of marijuana last year.
Although possession of a small amount marijuana is legal in the District, the sale of the drug is not. According to the indictment, more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, or 220 pounds, were involved in the scheme.
More than 35,100 pounds of illegal narcotics delivered through the mail were seized by postal inspectors in 2015, according to the U.S. Postal Service.