In January, a California woman pleaded guilty to a one-count indictment that accused her of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. The plea agreement outlined the terms and stipulations of the methamphetamine trafficking charges and sentencing guidelines. Kimberly Roxann Braun, the 43-year-old defendant, agreed to sign the plea in exchange for a minimum of ten years imprisonment and a maximum of a life sentence. In early April, she stood in the courtroom again and received her sentence.
According to the court documentation—most of which still classified—Braun sold significant quantities of methamphetamine as part of a large, transcontinental, distribution ring. She faced charges alone. However, according to the documentation, one of her main buyers currently stands trial for the same charges, albeit to a lesser degree and scale. Jimmy Oliver Zeigler II, the only named buyer (or, the only publicity revealed buyer) in the case, bought methamphetamine from Braun by the pound.
Like a number of recent, similar methamphetamine cases, the USPIS played an essential—if not quintessential—role in the in the investigation. Both the USPIS and DEA, as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, took down the defendant. The courts upheld motions to keep criminal complaints, along with the discoveries, completely confidential until a time and date unknown. Save for a few select cases, the majority are still confidential. The few cases that courts decided to reveal often attributed the package seizures to random USPS inspections.
However, Braun not only set up a system wherein Jimmy Oliver Zeigler II bought pounds of methamphetamine – she shipped meth to his co-conspirators. Braun and Zeigler met in person on several occasions where he purchased pound quantities of the drug. Presumably met in person for transactions that involved more methamphetamine than either party felt comfortable shopping.
That inherently qualified both Braun and Zeigler for interstate trafficking, at the minimum; she lived in California and he “operated out of” Washington, D.C.
This arrest follows a string of recent methamphetamine arrests where a supplier used USPS as a delivery medium. Drug busts are common in the United States. “Another Group Arrested After USPS Catches Meth Package,” “Arkansas Duo Received Meth Via USPS, Explained Everything to the Police After Arrest,” and “Michigan Man Arrested After Meth Package Detected,” among countless others.
But methamphetamine cases, such as this one, are the cases that started crediting USPIS for the arrest as more than just a footnote. The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces initiative is a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional that serves as funding repository, among other things, for Investigations like this one.
“The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply,” the press release explained.
Despite facing a legally justifiable life in prison, Braun received a sentence of only 11 years. Only one year more than the minimum sentence applicable. A fortunate sentence when compared to the severity of her crimes from the eyes of the legal system.