MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A postal worker already busted on a drug charge pleaded guilty Monday to interfering with the mail.
The charge stems from dozens of undelivered letters that police found in Ennis William Cox II’s personal truck when they stopped him for speeding on Interstate 10 in May last year.
Hired in 2018, Cox had a rural route in Theodore, according to his written plea agreement. Court records show that he was traveling 90 mph when the officer pulled him over in May 2020. The officer noticed a marijuana smell from the vehicle, and a drug-sniffing police dog alerted to the driver’s side compartment, according to the plea document.
Court records show that the officer found a small amount of marijuana, a digital scale and a 9mm handgun.
Cox, 28, already has pleaded guilty to second-degree possession of marijuana in Mobile County District Court.
The plea on Monday relates to his mishandling of the mail. Law enforcement officers found 30 to 40 pounds of undelivered mail, according to the plea agreement – 167 pieces of first-class mail strewn about the floorboard, including near the driver’s feet.
The plea document suggests that some of the mail contained sensitive personal information. The envelopes had return addresses that included insurance companies, credit card companies, health care providers and retirement and investment firms.
Cox told a postal inspector that he was delivering the mail on May 22 last year when he came to an abrupt stop, throwing buckets of mail on to the floorboard. He said he was running behind schedule and did not want to be delayed further, so he finished his route instead of re-sorting the spilled mail. He told investigators that he intended to deliver the mail later but could not find the time to do it and left it in the truck for days.
That made Cox’s actions “knowing” and “willful,” and not just a mistake, according to the plea document.
In exchange for the plea, prosecutors have agreed to recommend one year of probation.
Crimes committed by postal workers are rare but do occur from time to time. Federal prosecutors in 2018 obtained an indictment against four postal workers in Mobile alleged drug offenses.