NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY/AP) — A Norfolk mail carrier has been charged with diverting packages filled with marijuana to a drug dealer in exchange for bribes.
Court documents have identified Gary Kent Turner, Jr. as the suspect in this case. Authorities say he bribed a public official. This comes after a nearly two-year investigation that began when several suspicious packages on his route were identified.
The investigation revealed that Turner had been meeting with an unidentified male, M.C., along his route. Turner would provide M.C. with packages before receiving an envelope of cash. A court affidavit alleges this exchange happened on at least 15 different occasions between November 2019 and May 2020.
Furthermore, investigators were able to obtain Turner’s phone records that allegedly showed several incoming and outgoing calls between Turner and M.C. between July 2019 and March 2020.
The affidavit also said a package originally destined for Turner’s route in May 2020 was seized after authorities obtained a federal search warrant. The package matched the address and description of previous parcels that were handed off to m.C. in exchange for money. It had about 3.5 pounds of marijuana inside, court documents said.
M.C., the second man, was approached by Norfolk police on June 18, 2020, as he exited a Dollar Tree on West 21st Street. He admitted to possession of marijuana and was arrested. After his car was searched, authorities said they found a .380 pistol, a backpack with over $11,700 and approximately 3 pounds of marijuana.
Further search warrants found more marijuana inside his house, as well as packing materials and scales according to police.
Turner was temporarily detained on June 18, 2020 and admitted to receiving money in exchange for packages he delivered, according to court documents. He was released to U.S. Postal Service management and immediately suspended.
Several days later, court documents said that two packages addressed to 2600 and 2609 Granby Street were turned over to postal investigators by a supervisor at the station where Turner worked. The packages contained 2.25 pounds of suspected marijuana and 6.7 pounds of suspected THC edibles.
It was determined in March 2021 that had M.C. been using several postal workers in 2017 to “facilitate marijuana distribution operation.” In 2018, he shifted solely to working with Turner, according to court documents.
Turner was allegedly paid $100 for each parcel delivered to M.C. totaling between $2,000 and $3,000 per month. He was also allegedly aware that M.C. used and sold the marijuana.
Postal workers are not allowed to receive cash or cash equivalents from customers, according to postal policy.
Turner was arrested this past Monday and released on a personal recognizance bond. His attorney, James Broccoletti, declined to comment.