Feds: Kotzebue man turned post office into pot office
A former Kotzebue postmaster has been accused of illegally distributing marijuana through the mail at the post office he ran for more than three years, federal prosecutors said.
U.S. Attorney for Alaska Bryan Schroder’s office announced the indictment of 34-year-old Shaun Pete Snyder in a Thursday statement. He is charged with possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute it, conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute, as well as illegal use of a communication facility.
Although recreational marijuana in Alaska has been legalized by the state’s voters, pot remains illegal under federal law. Gov. Mike Dunleavy has recently caused some to question his stance on the drug, however, in the wake of a proposal this week to repeal the state’s alcohol and marijuana control boards.
Snyder had worked for more than a decade at the Kotzebue post office starting in August 2005, rising to postmaster in November 2014. He allegedly began distributing pot in October 2016, continuing until he left the position in February 2018.
“As part of the conspiracy, Snyder was to be provided tracking numbers via text messages of parcels that contained marijuana,” prosecutors wrote. “Snyder would then track the packages until their arrival at the Kotzebue post office, retrieve them, scan them as delivered, and allow the recipients to pick up the packages from the rear freight door — both during and outside normal business hours.”
Snyder then began to take cash from people to process marijuana shipments through the post office, prosecutors said. He also “began providing information to individuals on how to mail packages to avoid detection from United States postal inspectors.”
Various U.S. Postal Service agencies worked with Alaska State Troopers to investigate the case, prosecutors said. Snyder could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted on “the most serious charges in the indictment.”
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