Two Ohio postal workers ripped open priority mail packages they suspected contained drugs and kept the marijuana and methamphetamine they found, according to federal court documents.
The suspects, identified as Desmen A. Pauley and Tyler O. Oder, both worked at the U.S. Postal Service’s distribution center in Dayton.
Pauley told investigators he and Oder had been stealing narcotics for about 18 months, while Oder said he was working alone, according to a complaint filed in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.
Oder is scheduled for an arraignment and a plea hearing Friday on one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
Two guns and more than $17,000 in cash were seized Jan. 18 by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office RANGE task force from Oder’s Gondert Avenue home and Pauley’s Westdale Court residence, according to Montgomery County Common Pleas Court records.
The investigation began in December when postal inspectors were informed two employees were suspected of stealing mail when priority mail packages were found in an area under the workroom floor of the Dayton Processing and Distribution Center, according to the complaint.
On Jan. 9, inspectors were notified that more priority mail packages from California were found “ripped open” on the workroom floor.
Two days later, a special agent conducted surveillance of the parking lot and watched Pauley and Oder as they finished their overnight shift at 6 a.m., the complaint said.
Pauley had a full backpack before Oder drove over to Pauley’s vehicle and they “exchanged items.” The complaint said the special agent couldn’t see the items exchanged.
On Jan. 18, postal special agents, inspectors from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and RANGE Task Force agents set up surveillance on Pauley and Oder as they worked.
The complaint said both left the workroom floor several times during their 9:30 p.m.-to-6 a.m. shift. Oder took a full backpack to his vehicle. After both employees clocked out, they sat in Oder’s car before both drove off.
The complaint said agents stopped at both suspects’ homes, where K-9s alerted to narcotics. Pauley was found with a pound of leafy green substance suspected to be marijuana, while Oder was found with about nine pounds of suspected marijuana.
“Pauley admitted he did profile possible narcotic packages” and “ripped them open” before taking marijuana when it was found, the documents said. Pauley said more marijuana, meth and two guns could be found at his home.
Oder told investigators he had been profiling possible narcotics packages “since the holidays” before requesting an attorney, which stopped the questioning.
The report said investigators found 12 pounds of suspected marijuana, one pound of suspected meth and two handguns at Pauley’s residence. It also said 15 pounds of suspected marijuana and $15,000 in cash were found at Oder’s residence.
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