An ex-postal worker was sentenced to prison for stealing marijuana from a confiscated package.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia announced on Tuesday that a former USPS employee was sentenced to two months in federal prison after pleading guilty to theft of mail matter by a postal employee. Last summer, the ex-employee stole marijuana from a confiscated shipment, according to officials.
According to the press statement, the incident occurred in August of last year. Howard Kerns, 53, was working at a USPS facility in Brunswick, Georgia, when he received a box containing suspected marijuana. The package was allegedly set aside for additional inspection, but postal management later discovered that it had been opened and the contents had been removed.
When the USPS Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG) questioned Kerns about the delivery, he acknowledged to stealing the package’s contents. He was eventually sacked from his job.
According to the statement, his two-month prison sentence will be followed by two years of supervised release.
Kerns isn’t the first postal worker to be arrested for a drug-related offense.
According to the Associated Press, a New Jersey postal worker acknowledged to taking marijuana from several parcels in 2018. Officials said he looked for packages from “Arizona, California, or Colorado, then smelled, opened, or put holes in them to look for marijuana.” He allegedly stole $32,000 worth of the medication in all.
In 2018, 16 Atlanta postal workers were found guilty of accepting payments from drug traffickers in exchange for delivering cocaine on their routes, and they were sentenced to three to nine years in jail.
The Washington Newsday noted at the time that “the traffickers felt that the postal workers would be disregarded by law enforcement agents and so less likely to be apprehended.”
Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia David H. Estes, in a statement released Tuesday, defended the integrity of the USPS and its employees.
“The integrity of our US mail relies on the honesty of postal personnel,” Estes stated. “Howard Kerns is one of the few workers who fails that test and is being held accountable for it.” “The vast majority of Postal Service employees are honest, hardworking,” said Jonathan Ulrich, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Southern Area Field Office. This is a condensed version of the information.