Sharp-eyed workers at a Long Island mail processing center identified hundreds of packages containing marijuana and set up a drug distribution network of their own, according to federal prosecutors. Eight men arrested yesterday are accused of stealing 263 packages of the drug and sending them to be delivered to destinations where they could be sold, reports the New York Daily News. It's unlikely that any of the packages were ever reported missing, but the men were arrested after apparently getting sloppy: Feds focused on the Bethpage postal center after finding three empty Priority Mail packages smelling of marijuana in the backyard of an abandoned house.
Investigators seized 129 pounds of marijuana, and the men have been charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs, as well as mail theft, reports Postal News. They were apparently able to identify the pot parcels from the sending addresses on the West Coast, as well as the unusual shape of the Priority Mail parcels. "United States Priority Mail parcels have become the method of choice for drug dealers for the covert transportation and distribution of controlled substances, including marijuana," a US Postal Service special investigator says in a court filing. (Read more US Postal Service stories.)