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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - The Pulaski County courthouse in downtown Little Rock is shown in this 2019 file photo. - Photo by Gavin Lesnick

A former United States postal employee was sentenced to prison for assisting drug distributors while on the job, according to a Wednesday announcement from U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland.

Hayward Cleavon Shaw, 44, of West Memphis was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in a methamphetamine conspiracy as part multi-year federal drug investigation, said Cody Hiland, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, in a news release.

Shaw was originally charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and theft of mail by a postal employee. He pleaded guilty on April 11 to the distribution charge and will have two years of supervised release following his time in prison.

Shaw, while working as a postal employee, would locate and divert packages in an attempt to assist drug distributors.

On Jan. 27, 2017, a package containing 2,500 grams of methamphetamine was on its way to West Memphis from California when it was confiscated as part of the investigation into Shaw’s activities, officials said.

The methamphetamine conspiracy was part of an ongoing federal investigation known as Operation “Money Don’t Sleep” that is run by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. The goal of the operation, the release states, is to identify and dismantle multiple drug-trafficking organizations that distribute cocaine and methamphetamine.

The first phase of “Money Don’t Sleep” previously resulted in the arrests of 50 people in 2017. With those drug traffickers removed, distributors emerged, leading to 22 additional arrests in June 2019.

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