Former Missouri letter carrier pleads guilty to role in drug trafficking conspiracy

Former Kansas City Postal Carrier Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute PCP Through the Mail

11/14/2016 KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former Kansas City, Mo., postal carrier pleaded guilty in federal court today for her role in a conspiracy to distribute multi-kilogram quantities of PCP through the mail.

Carol Barfield, 65, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to the her role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy. Co-defendant Michael Garrett, 57, of Victorville, Calif., pleaded guilty on Sept. 1, 2016, to his role in the conspiracy and to using a telephone to distribute PCP.

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Barfield and Garrett participated in a conspiracy to distribute PCP from Nov. 2, 2015, to March 4, 2016. Garrett mailed bottles of PCP from California to separate addresses on Barfield’s Kansas City, Mo., postal route. Barfield, at Garrett’s instruction, would then deliver the packages to their intended recipients rather than to the false addresses provided on the labeling.

According to today’s plea agreement, Garrett mailed a total of 15 parcels to separate addresses on Barfield’s carrier route from Nov. 2 to Dec. 16, 2015. Each of the parcels weighed in excess of 10 pounds. Barfield scanned all of the suspicious mailings as “delivered” on her route.

During the approximate time period these suspicious packages were being delivered, there were numerous phone calls between Barfield and Garrett, including several phone calls on the mailing and the delivery dates of all the suspicious packages.

On March 1, 2016, surveillance video identified Garrett mailing four parcels at the Victorville post office. The four parcels, which listed a false name and address for the sender, were mailed to separate addresses on Barfield’s postal route, but were addressed to individuals who did not reside at those addresses. On March 4, 2016, federal agents set up surveillance on Barfield’s postal route. Barfield loaded the parcels into her postal vehicle. She scanned the first parcel as delivered, but she did not actually deliver the parcel.

Barfield became suspicious that she might be under surveillance, according to the plea agreement, so she scanned another parcel as undeliverable. Barfield delivered one of the parcels as addressed and left it at the front steps of the residence. However, shortly after delivery, the actual homeowner arrived. Noticing he was not the listed recipient on the package, the homeowner picked up the package and, upon finding Barfield still in the neighborhood, returned it to her. For the last parcel, Barfield scanned the package as “no secure location” and left a delivery notice receipt at the listed address. Barfield subsequently rescanned the first parcel as “undeliverable as addressed,” returning all four packages to the post office.

Agents opened the suspicious parcels, which each contained two 64-ounce plastic Welch’s Grape Juice bottles of PCP. The total weight of the liquid from the eight bottles was approximately 13.45 kilograms.

Barfield told investigators that Garrett had mailed packages to her route five or six different times, and that it was usually three packages each time. Barfield stated that on some occasions Garrett would fly into Kansas City after mailing the packages and she would hand them directly to him. Other times, she would give them to an acquaintance of Garrett. If she did not give the packages to Garrett or his acquaintance, she would leave them at the address on the package, knowing Garrett or one of his people would come by and pick it up.

Barfield told investigators that, in exchange, Garrett bought her clothes, fixed her car, and provided her with spending money. She stated Garrett basically took care of her and gave her money to help out. Barfield said that the most money Garrett gave her at one time was $500, but she did not know how much total cash she had received from him.

Under federal statutes, Barfield is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin G. Davids. It was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration.