Authorities say Cleveland-area postal manager stole mail filled with illicit drugs

By John Caniglia - (TNS)

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A Cleveland-area manager at the U.S. Postal Service faces federal charges that accuse him of stealing packages containing illicit drugs.

Investigators said Anthony Sharp, 33, of South Euclid, stole mail filled with large quantities of drugs. Federal prosecutors are seeking to seize more than $100,000 and two motorcycles from him through forfeiture proceedings.

Sharp pleaded not guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland to a six-count indictment that included charges of stealing mail, money laundering and drug conspiracy.

Judge Donald Nugent ordered him held without bond. Sharp’s attorney, Joseph Morse, could not be reached.

In an affidavit, Kathryn A. DiNunzio of the postal service’s Office of Inspector General said agents began investigating Sharp based on suspicions that he had illegally opened packages and stole the contents.

On July 22, investigators placed two Express Mail packages in the Cleveland postal stream. One contained cocaine, the other methamphetamine. They were labeled as being sent from different addresses in California, the affidavit said.

DiNunzio’s affidavit said the packages ended up at a facility on Broadway Avenue in Cleveland, which serves as a hub for Express Mail for 15 zip codes in the Cleveland area.

At 9:25 a.m., Sharp began helping to sort mail. Within minutes, the affidavit said, he pulled the two packages, as well as a third, and placed them in a hamper for mail that was to go to the post office that he managed, at 6600 Lorain Ave.

Minutes later, he placed packages and the Express Mail for his post office in his car, DiNunzio wrote. Investigators followed him as he drove to a parking lot near the West Side Market and later to the post office. He took the mail in, but he left the three packages in his car, according to the affidavit.

About 12:30 p.m., he left his office and drove on Interstate 90, exiting on Eddy Road. A Cuyahoga County sheriff’s deputy stopped the car and arrested Sharp. In the car’s trunk, authorities found the three packages, which had were opened, the affidavit said.

A federal grand jury indicted Sharp earlier this month. The charges include a money-laundering count in which the indictment says stems from Sharp paying $15,200 for a 2012 Chevy Tahoe in May 2019.

The indictment alleges that the money for the purchase “had been derived from a specified unlawful activity, that is the distribution of controlled substances.”

The charges indicate that the third package found in Sharp’s car was fentanyl.

Through forfeiture proceedings, prosecutors are seeking to obtain $83,820 that seized from Sharp’s home and $17,114 in a credit union account. They also are seeking a 2008 Harley Davidson motorcycle and a 2019 White Polaris Slingshot, a three-wheel motorcycle.

By John Caniglia (TNS)

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