Postal service

US Postal Service director who seized cocaine in mail to sell himself, sentenced to prison

A former Massachusetts post office manager who grew up in Quincy was sentenced to a year and a half in prison for intercepting a “brick of cocaine” and other drugs in the mail and selling them himself.

“I am dishonored by my decision to be forced to do this and I am truly sorry,” handwritten Shawn Herron, who was the Fall River Post Office’s customer service manager, in a statement to the US Postal. Service Office of Inspector. General in February 2020. “I tried to get out of the post office in Fall River in order to get out of this nonsense and start fresh.”

Herron, 47, of Whitman, was sentenced Monday by Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV of the U.S. District Court in Boston to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release and forfeiture of $4,000. On October 22, 2021, Herron pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute and one count of theft of mail by a postal worker.

In Herron’s handwritten statement, he admitted to intercepting packages from Puerto Rico and US West Coast states suspected of containing drugs about 15 times in a year and a half. He wrote that he did this because he wanted to help his brother settle a bad debt.

Prosecutors called the scheme “greed” in a sentencing memo. They said he texted that he “has big plans for [the] money” like renovating his “back room and new windows and tiled floor”.

Prosecutors say Herron seized packages either on his own or by using his position to order subordinates to remove the packages from circulation on his behalf. He had told employees that he seized packages for postal inspectors to investigate, but did not actually alert inspectors.

Herron would tell customers that their packages had been returned to sender, according to court documents, but that he would “really take the stolen packages to his government-provided office, open them and steal their contents if they contain any substances.” controlled”.

“Herron not only conspired to distribute dangerous drugs, but he abused his position in the United States Postal Service to do so,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo.

Herron seized a package from Puerto Rico that he told a supervisor he thought contained a “brick of cocaine” and sold the 271 grams of the drug for $4,000 to an area drug dealer, according to a affidavit of a postal inspector.

In another instance, Herron seized packages from Oregon with a strong smell of marijuana and tried to sell what he thought was about 80 pounds of stuff three times to no avail and only stopped when his brother had told him it was legal hemp and not marijuana.

Herron grew up in Quincy, according to a letter submitted to court by his wife last week. He has three daughters, the youngest of whom is 17 years old. His wife wrote positively about him and said that he had accepted a new job in the field of insulation.