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Former Buffalo postal carrier sentenced on bribery charge

STAFF REPORTS

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Dennis Bernhard, 56, of Derby, N.Y., who was convicted of bribery, was sentenced to time served, and one year supervised release, to include three months home confinement by Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wei Xiang and Jeremy V. Murray, who handled the case, stated that Bernhard was a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service for 16 years, working out of the Eastside Station Post Office for the last 10 years. The Eastside Station covers the east side of the City of Buffalo. The investigation began when law enforcement officials learned that Bernhard had previously been paid by drug dealers to provide addresses of unsuspecting citizens in the City of Buffalo in order to mail boxes of narcotics. These addresses were within the defendant’s mail delivery route, so that when the boxes arrived in Buffalo, Bernhard did not deliver the boxes to the listed recipient address, but held on to the boxes and handed them directly to the drug dealers in exchange for cash payments.

When police approached Bernhard during an undercover operation in 2015, the defendant indicated he was willing to continue the scheme. During one transaction, Bernhard even said that one of the prior drug dealers “treated me pretty good. . . . at the end he was giving me like a hundred. . . .” (referring to $100 per box).

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gary Loeffert, the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Raymond Moss, the United States Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Cleevely, Eastern Area Field Office, Philadelphia, PA, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Kevin Kelly.