A United States Postal Service supervisor from Ohio admitted to collecting thousands from trafficking illegal drugs.
Kerry Beech Jr., a 31-year-old USPS supervisor in Cincinnati, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to his role in a 2020 plot in which he intercepted 28 packages containing fentanyl and methamphetamine and delivered the packages himself . According to Kenneth Parker, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Beech received $500 per package from the person it was delivered to.
A July 2020 operation by federal agents found Beech in possession of four sealed packages of illegal drugs, with officers also finding him in his car with $4,500 in cash and a loaded handgun.
Ohio law enforcement is seizing enough fentanyl to kill 190,000 people
Beech was eventually charged in September with mail theft, which can earn a USPS employee a five-year prison sentence.
The fentanyl bust comes as Ohio has grappled with a growing opioid crisis in recent years. The state had the fourth-highest rate of drug overdoses in 2020, behind West Virginia, Kentucky and Delaware, according to the latest CDC data.
The state has seen an increase in drug overdose deaths every year since 2018, CDC data shows.
Fentanyl has been a driving factor in the rise in overdose deaths across the country since 2020, with authorities warning that the drug is extremely dangerous and can be deadly in small doses.
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“We lost nearly 108,000 people to opioid poisoning last year,” he said — with two-thirds of those deaths attributable to fentanyl-like substances,” said William Bennett, who served as the US’s “drug czar” under the administration of former president George HW Bush told Fox News Digital last month.