Breaking News

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Election results for Georgia runoff election


Former postal worker sentenced to 70 months for delivering drugs

Then-U.S. Attorney John Horn said last summer the 17 postal workers “allegedly sold (the public’s) trust out to someone they knew to be a drug dealer.”  (HENRY TAYLOR / HENRY.TAYLOR@AJC.COM)
Then-U.S. Attorney John Horn said last summer the 17 postal workers “allegedly sold (the public’s) trust out to someone they knew to be a drug dealer.”  (HENRY TAYLOR / HENRY.TAYLOR@AJC.COM)

A former postal worker was sentenced Thursday to almost six years in federal prison for taking a bribe from a purported drug dealer and intercepting and redirecting packages she believed to contain cocaine.

Cydra Rochelle Alexander was the second to be sentenced out of 17 former metro Atlanta postal workers accused of using their jobs to help a drug dealer move cocaine and marijuana through the mail.

According to indictments returned last summer, Alexander and other postal workers, who were assigned routes stretching from Fairburn to Roswell and Decatur to Austell, would give individuals they believed to be drug dealers a special address to put on packages to signal they contained cocaine. The postal workers would then pull those specially-addressed packages out and deliver them instead to a buyer. But the supposed drug dealer was an informant and the packages contained fake drugs.

Alexander pleaded guilty last November to six counts of distributing drugs and one count of taking a bribe. Only one other person has been sentenced so far; Shakeed Anilah Magee was sentenced to five years in prison last week. Ten others have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. The judge has ordered psychiatric evaluations for two defendants and the remaining three are awaiting trial.

RELATED: Prison guards sentenced for transporting drugs

ALSO: Postal workers filmed dumping mail

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Leigh May honored Alexander’s request that that she be sentenced to no more than 70 months in federal prison. She could have been sentenced to as much as 138 months, but the judge said Alexander was deserving of a break.

“Every person comes to this courtroom with a different story,” May said. “I think you’ve led a very good life. You’re a good person and this crime isn’t the only thing you did.”

May said she was impressed that Alexander had kept a job managing a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant while her case was pending.

As the judge offered her reasons for the sentence, Alexander dabbed her eyes with a tissue and relatives on two benches behind her cried, one of them sobbing audibly.

Before the punishment was announced, Alexander and both her parents asked for mercy.

“I know Cydra knows it’s a horrible thing she did,” said Rochelle Alexander, her mother. “She loved the Post Office… She’s never been in jail. She’s never had a parking ticket. I don’t know what I’m going to do without her.”

Her father, Willie Alexander, said his daughter “got caught up in her own thing. Nobody’s perfect. We all mess up.”

Cydra Alexander said she had “learned” from this experience. “I know what I did was wrong and I just ask you to have mercy on me,” she said.

In other news: 

Police say this shooting could be linked to similar overnight shootings in Atlanta.

According to court records, in October 2016 fellow postal carrier Kawana Chapman, who pleaded guilty earlier this week, recruited Cydra Alexander by promising her that she could make thousands of dollars redirecting packages that supposedly cocaine and marijuana. The informant told Cydra Alexander he would pay her $1,000 for each package containing two kilograms of cocaine once a week. She would get another $500 for each delivery by any co-workers she brought into the operation; Cydra Alexander recruited her co-worker Frank Webb, who pleaded guilty last month.

Cydra Alexander made three deliveries in October and November 2016, earning $1,000 for each one. She got an additional $1,500 for three deliveries Webb made.

The judge ruled Cydra Alexander had to forfeit the $4,500 she collected. She will spend an additional four years under supervision once she is released from prison.