A U.S. Postal employee who worked in Fall River has been indicted on federal charges in connection with stealing mail believed to contain controlled substances.

Shawn M. Herron, 44, of Whitman, was indicted Thursday on one count of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, and one count of theft of mail by a postal employee. Herron was arrested and charged by criminal complaint in February 2020.

Herron had been employed by the postal service since September 2005, most recently as manager of customer services at the Fall River Post Office. Prior to this position, he was supervisor of customer service at the post office in Canton.

According to federal prosecutors, Herron tracked packages he suspected of containing narcotics. Then, rather than dealing with them appropriately, he allegedly opened them and stole the contents. Herron profiled priority parcels from Puerto Rico and West Coast states as well as parcels flagged by law enforcement as potentially containing illegal narcotics. He then allegedly removed them from the mail stream.

According to court documents, Herron tracked the suspected parcels through postal service databases and monitored their arrival at the Fall River Post Office. Herron then allegedly carried them to his personal office space and stole the narcotics for distribution.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, five years of supervised release and up to a $500,000 fine. The theft of mail charge provides for up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Matthew M. Modafferi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General; and Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia M. Carris of Lelling’s Public Corruption & Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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