Cocaine: It’s In the Mail
A U.S. Post Office mail carrier, Christina Nunez, was arrested on August 24, 2012. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, she was charged with intent to distribute cocaine and with mail theft. While a U.S. postal employee she had been allegedly receiving and distributing cocaine shipments sent from a drug trafficking organization in Puerto Rico.
Her boyfriend was also arrested and charged.
Assigned to a post office in Secaucus, NJ, Nunez moved more than 18 kilos of cocaine from October 2010 until her arrest, according to court papers. The scheme was simple. Packages bearing false or inaccurate addresses were sent along her route. She would intercept and redirect them.
In February 2011, however, postal inspectors seized an express mail package. According to the criminal complaint, it contained 1,569 grams of concealed cocaine and was addressed to a location on Nunez’s route. Federal authorities were alerted.
Further investigation revealed packages with similar weights and tracking numbers – and questionable addresses – had been sent along her mail route since 2010.
Authorities devised their own sting operation. Finding a package destined for her route, they discovered and removed a stash of cocaine hidden in a bag of coffee. They then replaced it with a dummy powder – and a GPS tracking device. Using video, they began surveillance of the inside of her mail truck.
It didn’t take long. Nunez failed to deliver the package. Instead, she took it home with her.
After their arrests Nunez and her boyfriend admitted she knowingly had received packages sent from a drug trafficking organization in Puerto Rico, packages she knew contained controlled substances.
It is unknown if Nunez, as yet, has retained a federal criminal defense lawyer. Her first appearance will be in Newark federal court.