Two men, one of whom is a Baltimore mail carrier, have pleaded guilty to smuggling marijuana into the city through the U.S. Postal Service. Both men face decades in federal prison as punishment for their convictions, according to a report in local media.
Michael Gray pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana this week and could spend up to 20 years in prison for his role in the smuggling operation. William McRae, an employee of the Postal Service, pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana and faces incarceration of up to 40 years.
Investigators discovered that since early 2017, more than 200 packages deemed to be suspicious had all been shipped from California to the 21223 ZIP code in Baltimore. The parcels had all been sent to addresses that were on McRae’s carrier route, according to court documents.
On November 17, 2017, investigators learned that eight Priority Mail packages were on their way to the same Baltimore address at 1100 Hollins Street. Three of the parcels were intercepted en route and each was found to contain approximately one kilogram of a green plant material that tested positive for marijuana.
Postal Route C-032 stretches from Fulton to Poppleton Streets in West Baltimore. It was William McRae’s postal route, where he would distribute drugs along his way.
Federal investigators built the drug distribution case against McRae based out of a Southwest Baltimore post office.
How it all went and how they got cought
“We trust our US postal workers, if you don’t trust anybody else,” “I wouldn’t think you jeopardize a job like that. I wouldn’t,” Jimmie Carter, a Baltimore resident said.
Don, a Baltimore resident said.
His accomplice, Michael Gray, pleaded guilty on Monday.
Federal officials said McRae delivered more than 100 kilograms– 220 pounds– of marijuana on his route.
“100,000, I mean, how would you even do it? Through packaging?”
said Baltimore resident Carissa Jessop.
Several of the packages were addressed to apartments across from Hollins Market, but never made it there.
According to court documents, investigators spotted McRae passing a package to Gray on his route in January 2018 on the corner of W. Lombard and Mount Streets.
Ten months later, surveillance was set up at the Franklin Station Post Office and on McRae’s postal route, where the feds caught McRae passing two kilograms of pot to Gray.
That’s when they were arrested.
“He didn’t drop none at my house and I don’t know why,” Carter said laughing. “I mean, c’mon, that’s not right,”
The plea agreement showed McRae was paid in cash and marijuana.
“I’m just shocked. I mean, that’s– I know the US mail was doing bad, but I didn’t know it was doing that bad,” said SW Baltimore resident Tony Stevens. “It’s deplorable. I think they ought to do an investigation throughout the whole division. If it’s coming in through one post office, it’s a good chance it’s coming in through another,” Don said.
McRae, the postal worker, could get up to 40 years. His sentencing is July 15. Gray faces 20 years. His sentencing is in September.
Suspicious Packages Lead to Surveillance of Mail Carrier
In early January 2018, investigators discovered that two more packages, each weighing 10 pounds, were being shipped to the same Baltimore address from California. McRae’s mail route was then put under surveillance by investigators, who saw McRae park his USPS vehicle on the street before being met by another man later identified as Gray, who arrived in a silver Volvo and parked behind the mail carrier.
Investigators watched as McRae handed a package to Gray. USPS records revealed that he had scanned one of the suspicious packages as being delivered at the time and location of the meeting with Gray. The second package was never delivered to Baltimore, according to Postal Service data.
Later in January, postal investigators learned that seven more packages, six weighing about 20 pounds and the last about two pounds, were on the way to the same Baltimore address. Two of the packages were intercepted and a search warrant was obtained by investigators. The packages were then opened and one was found to contain 1,005 grams of cannabis, while the other had 6,750 grams of marijuana.
- Readers who show their support with purchasing cannabis seeds help us keep doing this. Thank you for your support and for helping us improve!