EATONTON, Ga. — An elaborate scheme to make money selling illicit drugs using the U.S. Postal Service was broken up with the arrests of three suspects in Putnam County, authorities say.
During a raid on a doublewide mobile home at 176 Pea Ridge Circle near Eatonton last Friday, detectives with the Putnam and Morgan county sheriff’s offices worked together to make the arrests without incident. Lawmen also discovered some illegal drugs at the residence, including cocaine and marijuana, and a large amount of cash, as well as several guns — all of which were loaded.
Detectives from both local sheriff’s offices worked closely with the U.S. Postal Inspector’s Office to break up the illegal drug case that involved at least three area post offices, located in Eatonton, Madison and Social Circle.
Putnam County Sheriff's Office Detective Lt. Harry Luke, who helped coordinate the local aspects of the investigation, identified the suspects as Cale Carlvelle Little, 26; Willie Carlton Little, 29; and Chinee Nneaa Umumna, 19.
Luke said both Little brothers are charged with felony Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act (VGCSA) for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute; possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
The two brothers also were each charged with felony possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, Luke said.
Willie Little also charged with felony possession of a firearm with an altered serial number.
Umumna, meanwhile, was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana for less than an ounce.
Luke explained that Cale Little was out on bond after being arrested May 1 on a charge of felony VGCSA for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Those charges come as a result of a traffic stop made by an officer with the Eatonton Police Department, Luke told The Union-Recorder in a telephone interview.
“He was actually out on bond in that case when we arrested him at his mother’s house last week,” Luke said of Cale Little.
Luke said inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspector’s Office had worked the case for approximately a year.
“And I had been working it for about three weeks [when] the postal inspector’s office got in contact with me,” Luke said.
The local investigation began at the post office in Madison, Luke recalled.
At the time local authorities became involved in the investigation, they learned that Willie Little was mailing packages to various locations, including some mailed out-of-state — and one that ended up in Texas.
“When Morgan County was informed by the U.S. Postal Inspector’s Office about what was going on, they learned that Willie Little didn’t have a criminal history,” Luke said.
Morgan County later got in touch with Luke since Little lived in Putnam County.
“I told him that [I] was actually investigating Willie and that he was from down here,” Like said.
The veteran detective said Willie Little went to various post offices to mail his packages.
“He mailed them all the same way, using a special stamp,” Luke said. “Most people carry their priority mail items into the post office and get in scanned as to how much it’s going to cost by the weight of the package, but he would just always use a stamp that cost $7 and something to cover it.”
Luke said doing it that way prevented him from having his photograph taken inside by surveillance camera.
“Inspectors with the Postal Service got wind of what was going on and they started opening the packages and that’s when they discovered that the packages contained heroin and cocaine,” Luke said. “They actually traced one package to Texas. They made a control delivery and then when they checked the package in Texas, it had heroin in it.”
The heroin was later sent to the FBI Crime Laboratory in Quantico, Va.
“They sent the fingerprints they lifted off the package and got the fingerprints off the inside of the package and were able to tie it back to Willie Little,” Luke said.
Special Agent Kemie Green, who also serves as one of the public information officer with the U.S. Postal Inspector’s Office, told The Union-Recorder that she could not discuss specifics of the case.
She forwarded the following statements via email.
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is the law enforcement, crime prevention and security arm of the Postal Service. Postal inspectors are federal law enforcement agents who conduct investigations of postal-related crime, such as mail fraud, violent crimes against postal employees, dangerous illegal drugs in the mail, and child exploitation conducted via the mail.
“The Postal Service has no interest in being the unwilling accomplice to anyone using the U.S. Mail to distribute illegal drugs or other harmful substances. Our objectives are to rid the mail of illicit drug trafficking, preserve the integrity of the mail and most importantly, to provide a safe environment for our postal employees and the American public.
“Postal inspectors will continue to work closely with our local law enforcement partners at the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office to investigate and take enforcement actions to help protect our communities from individuals that pose a significant threat by their criminal activities.”