MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Gangs, guns, and drugs; that's what Memphis police say a seven-month long investigation uncovered. Prosecutors say that includes a U.S. postal working delivering drugs while delivering mail. He is one of 25 indicted people.
A home on Bloombury in Cordova is vacant now, but investigators say it was here where members of MPD’s Organized Crime Unit found high powered weapons, illegal drugs, and cash.
42 pounds of marijuana, more than 7,000 oxycodone pills, 13 handguns and $200,000 cash are just some of the illegal items confiscated by the OCU.
“Very shocking,” says Cordova resident Bryan Jennings. “I never would have expected anything like that to happen in this neighborhood.”
Dubbed Operation: Wait A Minute Mr. Postman, the investigation revealed former postal worker Letravius Shaw teamed up the Grape Street Crips to move the drugs from California to a local dealer.
"70% of our crime is related to drugs or drug addiction so this is step in the right direction,” says MPD Director Michael Rallings.
Authorities arrested 14 people Tuesday, who now face various felony drug and conspiracy charges. They are still looking for 11 more.
"How many lives have been saved today by removing this poison from the streets,” says Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich.
People who live in this neighborhood are relieved.
"This has always been a peaceful neighborhood. Everybody knows everybody, and everyone gets along. This has never happened and it's shocking that it was happening under our noses,” says Jennings.
Director Rallings says four of the suspects stole the 7,900 oxycodone pills from a pharmaceutical warehouse in southeast Memphis.
This is still an ongoing investigation. If you have any information about where the other suspects may be, call Crime Stoppers at 528-CASH.
(SHELBY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY NEWS RELEASE)
A seven-month long investigation in the Whitehaven and South Memphis area has resulted in the criminal indictments of 25 people, including a postal worker, for the distribution and sale of heroin, Fentanyl, cocaine, marijuana and Oxycodone pills, Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich and Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings said Thursday.
Dubbed “Operation: Wait a Minute Mr. Postman,” the investigation by the Memphis Police Department (MPD) Organized Crime Unit revealed that a letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service helped drug dealers bring illegal drugs into Memphis using the postal service.
“I would like to give special thanks to all of the Organized Crime Unit investigators involved in this operation,” said Director Rallings. “Because of their hard work, these investigators may have saved hundreds of lives in Memphis.”
The MPD investigation from August of 2016 through February of this year resulted in the recovery of 42 pounds of marijuana, three kilograms of heroin, one kilogram of Fentanyl, 1,421.9 grams of cocaine, 7,900 Oxycodone pills, 25 morphine pills, 13 handguns, 33 motor vehicles, three motorcycles and approximately $210,000 in cash.
Investigators learned that Letravius Shaw, a United States Postal carrier in Memphis, was willingly assisting O. B. Hildson, a member of the Grape Street Crips, in bringing illegal drugs into the City of Memphis, by way of the U.S. Postal system.
A Shelby County Grand Jury indicted the 25 defendants on various felony drug and conspiracy charges.
On Wednesday, May 17, 2017, Letravius Shaw was taken into custody on this indictment.
The defendants named in the indictments this week conspired to distribute and sell the illegal drugs in Memphis for their own personal gain. During the investigation OCU officers identified several locations where the defendants stored and sold the illegal drugs.
Four of the defendants were also were responsible for multiple thefts of (and sale of) thousands of Oxycodone pills from a local pharmaceutical company warehouse facility where they worked. Some of the thefts date back as early as 2013.
On Tuesday, May 16, 2017, the Organized Crime Unit conducted a round-up operation to arrest these individuals. During the roundup, investigators located and arrested (14) of the (25) individuals indicted. While searching for the individuals, OCU investigators recovered and additional (7.3) grams of heroin, (5.9) grams of marijuana, (.4) grams of crack cocaine, and (2) handguns. They also seized (4) vehicles and $17,473.00 cash.
There were six (6) additional individuals arrested, on unrelated charges, during this roundup. Those individuals were charged with felony and misdemeanor offenses. A total of (20) individuals were arrested during this roundup operation.
Seven (7) of the individuals involved in this conspiracy were members of the Grape Street Crips, the Travelling Vice Lords, and the Gangster Disciples criminal gangs.
“Thanks to the hard, dangerous work of these OCU officers, a significant amount of poison has been taken off the streets of our city,” said Gen. Weirich. “Far too many young lives are being lost because of fatal overdoses of illegal drugs. We are now ready to roll up our sleeves and prosecute these individuals to the fullest extent of the law.”