United States v. Jones, No. 19-2176 (7th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Jones and Wansley worked at Illinois Post Office branches. Working with Smith and other co-conspirators, they arranged and executed a scheme to ship packages containing marijuana and marijuana derivatives through the mail. Jones and Wansley intercepted the packages and handed them off to others for cash bribes.
They were charged with bribery, 18 U.S.C. 201(b)(2)(C), conspiracy to commit obstruction of correspondence and theft of mail, 18 U.S.C. 371, and obstruction of correspondence, 18 U.S.C. 1702. The government presented evidence of trash pulls at Smith’s home, surveillance of Jones improperly scanning packages, text messages concerning addresses and payments, observation of hand-offs, and “controlled” deliveries of packages that the government had intercepted and repackaged. Jones and Wansley made statements to postal inspectors following their arrests, admitting to the crimes and describing some of the transactions. At trial, Jones testified that Smith was simply a customer who was having trouble with deliveries, so Jones offered to help intercept Smith’s packages and that the payments from Smith were tips for good service. Wansley testified that she was just following orders from Jones, her supervisor. The Seventh Circuit affirmed their convictions and their sentences, Jones to eight months’ imprisonment and Wansley to 30 days’ imprisonment, rejecting challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence.