USPS Manager Accused of Running Drug Ring Through the Mail

A manager with the Postal Service (USPS) has been accused of using his position to obtain narcotics through the mail for distribution.

The manager of the Post Office in the Rochester, NY area and his then-girlfriend, who also works for USPS at a nearby location, are accused of using their positions as Postal employees to obtain various narcotics through the mail and then redistributing them in the area.

According to an announcement from the Justice Department, Ralph Minni, 52, and Grace Marie Lopez, 30, of Greece, NY were arrested and charged in separate criminal complaints with conspiring and attempting to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and 500 grams or more of cocaine.

According to the criminal complaints, Minni is the manager of the Greece, NY Post Office, and Lopez works for the Post Office at the main Jefferson Road facility in Rochester.

According to FedsDataCenter.com, an individual named “Minni, Ralph R” is listed as working in Rochester, NY and makes a salary of $84,114 per year in 2022.

Another individual named “Lopez, Grace M” is listed as working in Rochester, NY and has an annual salary of $47,526 in 2022.

At the time of the incidents in question, Lopez was the girlfriend of Minni, and law enforcement conducted numerous controlled purchases of narcotics from Lopez, who discussed how she obtained the narcotics from Minni and described how he used his position as a postal employee to avoid detection and to protect the narcotics.

Throughout the investigation, Minni was observed removing mail packages from the post office work floor and taking them into his private office at the Greece Station, later emerging with one or more packages that often appeared to be repackaged. He would put the original package back into the mail stream and take a separate box with the contents from the parcel to his personal vehicle.

On at least three occasions, video surveillance captured Minni taking cocaine from his desk or pocket and giving it to another employee to snort.

On another occasion that occurred on May 2, 2022, investigators observed Minni remove a package from the work room floor and take it into his office. After removing the contents, he returned the original package to the mail stream, took the contents to his vehicle in a separate box, and left the post office shortly after. It was at this point that he was taken into custody.

Search warrants were executed on Minni’s office as well as his residence and vehicle. During the searches, investigators recovered about four pounds of marijuana, over $75,000 worth of other narcotics which included THC, marijuana and cocaine along with 40 firearms, over 5,000 rounds of ammunition and a bullet proof vest.

sDuring the execution of search warrants at Minni’s office, his residence, and his vehicle, investigators recovered approximately four pounds of marijuana, over $75,000 worth of narcotics, including THC, marijuana, and cocaine, 40 firearms, over 5,000 rounds of ammunition, and a bullet proof vest.

The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5,000,000 fine. The individuals involved in the case are have been charged with a crime which is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.