USPS Mail Carrier Arraigned for Conspiring to Possess with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances, Receiving Bribes, and Conspiring to Defraud United States

NEWARK, N.J. – A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail carrier was arraigned today on charges of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, receiving bribes as a public official, and conspiring to defraud the United States, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Emerson Pavilus, 46, of Union, New Jersey, was charged May 24, 2021, in a three-count indictment with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana, receiving bribes as a public official, and conspiring to defraud the United States.

According to documents filed in this case:

Pavilus was a mail carrier at the USPS Post Office in Flanders, New Jersey. From 2015 through June 2020, Pavilus received cash payments from at least two individuals in exchange for helping them to ship controlled substances, including cocaine and marijuana, and other illicit materials through the mail. Among other things, Pavilus provided his conspirators with addresses in Flanders to which parcels could be shipped, intercepted those parcels from the mail stream, and personally delivered those parcels to conspirators at addresses other than those listed on the parcels.

The narcotics offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $5 million. The bribery charge is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain from the offense, or three times the monetary equivalent of the bribe amount, whichever is greatest. The conspiracy to defraud the United States charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain from the offense, whichever is greater.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited members of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina in Newark, the USPS Office of Inspector General, Northeast Area Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modafferi, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, in Newark, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Rodney M. Hopkins, with the investigation leading to the charges. She also thanked the Irvington Police Department for their assistance.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Pesce of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s OCDETF/Narcotics Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


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