Dennis Bernhard, 56, of Derby, a former U.S. mail carrier, pleaded guilty Thursday before Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny to a charge of bribery for helping drug dealers on the East Side of Buffalo obtain marijuana through the U.S. mail.
Bernhard, a mail carrier on Buffalo’s East Side for the last 10 of his 16 years with the Postal Service until he was fired last year, faces a prison term of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced May 18, according to U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Wei Xiang said last year law enforcement officials learned Bernard was paid by drug dealers to provide addresses of unsuspecting citizens in Buffalo to which boxes of marijuana could be addressed. Since all those addresses were within Bernard’s delivery route he would hold onto the boxes and turn them over to drug dealers for cash payments. When approached by undercover lawmen last year to continue the illegal practice Bernard boasted that one of his prior drug dealer clients “treated me pretty good” paying him $100 a box, according to Xiang.