Two postal employees plead guilty to bribery and conspiracy to distribute marijuana

BIRMINGHAM – Two U.S. Postal Service employees in Tuscaloosa pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to charges of bribery and conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, U.S. Postal Inspection Inspector in Charge Adrian Gonzalez, U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Max Eamiguel, FBI Special Agent in Charge Roger C. Stanton, and West Alabama Narcotics Task Force Captain Wayne Robertson announced the pleas.

LYLE JONES, 36, a postal carrier, and LENARD POMPEY, 39, a postal supervisor, entered their pleas before U.S. District Judge Madeline H. Haikala. The judge scheduled both men’s sentencings for June 5.

“U.S. Postal Service employees are charged to deliver the U.S. mail,” Vance said. “When they violate that public trust for personal enrichment or to traffic illegal drugs, we will prosecute them.”

“Corruption of federal employees is a serious threat and breach of public trust,” Gonzalez said. “With joint efforts of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and our law enforcement partners, postal inspectors will guard against anyone taking bribes to move illegal drugs through the U.S. Postal Service.”

“Postal employees take great pride in their work for the American public. This type of egregious criminal behavior is not indicative of the careful efforts of the thousands of professional, dedicated employees in our workforce,” Eamiguel said. “We will continue to vigorously pursue those employees who violate the public’s trust.”

“The FBI is proud to work with our law enforcement partners to protect against use of the U.S. mail for criminal activity,” Stanton said.

“The West Alabama Narcotics Task Force is focused on stopping illegal drugs being shipped into the Tuscaloosa County area,” Robertson said. “Over the past several years, WANTF has begun to focus more attention on the various package and mail services, including the U.S. Postal Service, Federal Express and United Parcel Service,” he said. “This investigation is an example of the collaborative efforts between WANTF and our federal partners. We will continue to focus on stopping this illegal drug flow into our community.”

Federal prosecutors charged Jones and Pompey separately in January. According to the charges and today’s pleas, both men took part in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana and accepted cash to deliver packages containing the illegal drug.

Both men face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charge, and a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the bribery of a public official charge.

Pompey and Jones are the second and third individuals to be charged in this investigation. Jocelin Betts, a U.S. Postal carrier, pleaded guilty in November and is scheduled for sentencing June 9 in connection with the distribution of narcotics through the U.S. mail in the Tuscaloosa area.

The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, and the West Alabama Narcotics Squad investigated the cases, which are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Felton.

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