Former Postal Worker Sentenced for Cocaine Distribution in Lancaster County

Carlos MedinaCarlos Medina /Submitted Image

LANCASTER, PA — A former U.S. Postal Worker was sentenced to 4 ½ to 10 years in prison on Friday for his role in a cocaine distribution network within Lancaster County. Carlos Medina, 57, of Lititz, faced judgment by Lancaster County Judge Merrill Spahn after being found guilty of several charges, including possession with intent to deliver cocaine, criminal use of a communication facility, and criminal conspiracy.

The sentencing followed a stipulated bench trial that concluded on March 4, where Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Rall underscored the gravity of Medina’s actions, particularly given his employment with the U.S. Postal Service at the time of the offenses. “This was a great abuse of his job and position,” Rall noted, advocating for consecutive sentences due to the nature of the crimes committed during Medina’s postal service shift.

Despite arguments from defense counsel highlighting Medina’s previously clean criminal record and extensive work history as factors for a reduced sentence, Judge Spahn expressed bewilderment at Medina’s decision to engage in drug trafficking. “It is incomprehensible to me that you would jeopardize the life you built by getting yourself in the middle of this,” Spahn remarked during sentencing.

The investigation that led to Medina’s conviction began on March 8, 2022, when the Department of Homeland Security was alerted by Customs and Border Protection in Puerto Rico about a seized parcel containing cocaine destined for Lancaster County. A subsequent package intercepted the following day prompted further scrutiny, with both parcels testing positive for cocaine and traced back to deliveries on Medina’s postal route, albeit under fictitious names.

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A coordinated operation on March 17, 2022, involving the Pennsylvania State Police, Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Postal Service officials resulted in a controlled delivery of a sham kilogram of cocaine. Observations during the operation confirmed Medina’s involvement in the handover of the illicit package to co-defendant Estanislao Sanchez-Diaz among others, in exchange for financial compensation.

Medina’s admission of knowingly distributing the cocaine parcels for $1,000 each added a damning layer to the prosecution’s case, culminating in his sentencing. Meanwhile, Sanchez-Diaz awaits sentencing following an open guilty plea before Judge Spahn in February.

The denial of bail and immediate custody of Medina by the Lancaster County Sheriffs marked the end of Friday’s court proceedings, with defense counsel indicating plans to appeal the decision.

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