Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown today announced that a United States Postal Service carrier has been charged with conspiring to sell cocaine while in uniform and driving a postal truck.
“The defendant is accused of delivering more than just the mail while carrying out his duties as a U.S. mail carrier,” said District Attorney Brown. “It is alleged that he used his position as a postal employee to put dangerous drugs out on the street. In doing so, he broke the law and betrayed the trust of the Postal Service and the public, as well. My office has zero tolerance for such corruption.”
The District Attorney identified the letter carrier as Felix Soto. The letter carrier is presently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on charges of first-, third- and fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and second-degree conspiracy.
If convicted, the 22-year letter carrier faces up to twenty years in prison.
District Attorney Brown said that, according to the charges, it was learned during the course of a long-term joint narcotics investigation that a drug package had been sent through the mail and received at JFK Airport in Queens before being sent to a post office in Bronx County where Soto took possession of the package in his capacity as a postal carrier. It is further alleged that the defendant, while in uniform, was observed sitting in a U.S. Postal Service truck at the intersection of Croes and Westchester Avenues in the Bronx shortly after 12:00 noon on July 14, 2010, when an individual approached the vehicle and Soto handled him the package, which contained two bricks of cocaine, each weighing approximately one kilogram and each having a street value of approximately a quarter of a million dollars.
The investigation leading to today’s arrest was conducted by the Queens District Attorney Narcotics Investigation Bureau, by Detective Andrew Lenski, of the New York City Police Department’s Narcotics Borough Queens, under the supervision of Sergeant Bryan McNulty and Lieutenant John Henig, and the NYPD’s Narcotics Division under the command of Inspector Michael E. Bryan, and under the overall supervision of Deputy Chief Joseph Reznick, Commanding Officer of the Narcotics Division, and Chief Anthony Izzo, Commanding Officer, the Organized Crime Control Bureau, and by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
District Attorney Brown acknowledged the cooperation and assistance of special agents of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General in the ongoing investigation.
Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Darche, of District Attorney Brown’s Narcotics Investigations Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Wilbert J. LeMelle, Bureau Chief, Karen J. Friedman, Deputy Chief, and Philip D. Anderson, Supervisor, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Linda M. Cantoni.
It should be noted that a criminal complaint is merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.