BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A veteran of the United States Postal Service’s postal carrier corps pleaded guilty to federal charges after he was implicated in a drug trafficking ring.
Officials investigating the shipment of drugs, carried by postal workers in western New York, led police to arrest 56-year-old Dennis Bernhard and one of his fellow postal carriers. FBI agents learned throughout their investigations that the two employees accepted bribes to carry packages with drugs inside on their mail routes.
Bernhard carried boxes out of Buffalo’s Eastside Station for 10 of his 16-year career with the Postal Service. Officials say he provided names of residents on his route to drug dealers on the west side to facilitate the deals.
Once the box was in hand and on the route, police say Bernhard would accept a bribe, up to $250 per box, to hand it off to an operative, rather than deliver it to the house with the name he had given the traffickers.
Originally charged with multiple counts of bribery on the federal level, Bernhard pleaded guilty on Thursday to a count of bribery, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years behind bars and a fine of up to $250,000.
Another defendant is still being prosecuted in the case.