Second US mail carrier pleads guilty to role in drug distribution ring

Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Just under a month after a fellow U.S. Postal Service mail carrier pleaded guilty to his role in a drug distribution ring, a Cheektowaga woman also admitted to her guilt.

Briana Fugate, 26, joined Dennis Bernhard, 56, in admitting to carrying boxes of drugs shipped to specific addresses, but passing them off to members of a drug trafficking ring for a bribe instead.

Both postal workers admitted to accepting payments for each box they delivered, prompting Fugate to plead guilty to bribery, drug distribution and delay of mail. Bernhard pleaded guilty to one count of bribery.

Federal prosecutors who oversaw the case say during their investigation, they learned Fugate indeed participated in the drug trafficking ring, but also delayed delivering pieces of mail. After her arrest in October, police say they found 1,500 pieces of mail in her car she hadn’t yet delivered.

“Our efforts to root out public corruption continue with this second conviction of a postal employee in as many weeks,” U.S. Attorney William Hochul said. “We are not going to allow postal routes to become narcotics delivery services.”

Both carriers were veterans of the service.

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