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Federal drug charges may be filed against Pittsburgh postmaster

A Pittsburgh postmaster may end up facing federal charges after authorities allege that he opened packages containing drugs and money and threatened employees who witnessed those actions. The possibility of federal drug charges come on the heels of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General. Current reports are unclear about what purportedly happened to the substances that were allegedly removed from the packages.

The 50-year-old postmaster had been with the U.S. Postal Service since 1997 and had worked in the Pittsburgh office since February of 2014. He was recently arraigned on four counts of intimidating witnesses, obstruction of the administration of law or government function, official oppression and criminal coercion. He was able to secure release on bond for the amount of $10,000 for each of the five cases.

Multiple U.S. Postal Service employees have asserted that they witnessed the postmaster opening packages that contained drugs. In one incident, the package in question was said to contain heroin, cocaine and marijuana. The employee who witnessed that action stated that the postmaster opened the package, while the postmaster claims that the package had come unsealed during transit. In addition to opening packages in the office, it is alleged that the postmaster called other offices and told employees to be on the lookout for packages for which he provided tracking numbers.

The man also stands accused of threatening employees who witnessed these actions. Specifically, he is alleged to have told one Pennsylvania worker that he was "ruthless" and not to be crossed. Another worker says that she was warned not to speak to investigators about having seen the man open any mail parcels. There is no report on whether authorities believe that the postmaster took personal possession of the drugs. If federal drug charges are filed, the outcome may be based on what happened to the illegal substances found in the packages, and whether the incidents were properly reported by the postmaster.

Source: post-gazette.com, "Pittsburgh postmaster facing charges released on bond; employment status unclear", Jonathan D. Silver, Sept. 16, 2015

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