Former Washington mail carrier gets 30 days for vehicle smuggling, child porn possession

A former mail carrier from Mason County has been sentenced to 30 days in custody for three federal felonies related to a vehicle smuggling scheme and possession of child pornography.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, between 2015 and January 2019, 48-year-old Christopher Cox falsified the required paperwork on two dozen vehicles he imported from overseas. Many of the vehicles were extremely light vehicles imported from Japan that did not meet U.S. safety standards. 

Documents said Cox sold some of the vehicles to contract mail carriers he knew from his job and falsified the forms that claimed the vehicles met both safety standards and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Air Act standards. He also used his identification as a contract mail carrier to circumvent inspections at the Port of Tacoma and took the vehicles from the Port without proper inspections, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. 

While law enforcement were searching Cox's electronic accounts for the smuggling accusations, they found hundreds of images of child porn

Cox was sentenced to 30 days in custody and five years of supervised release following his incarceration. He must also register as a sex offender. 

Prosecutors had asked the court to sentence Cox to two years in prison.

"Mr. Cox was a danger to the community on multiple fronts. He abused a position of trust and endangered his colleagues by selling unsafe vehicles and ignoring air pollution control efforts," said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. "The vehicles he imported and sold did not meet safety or air quality standards. These crimes, along with his possession of images of child rape and abuse, demonstrate he poses serious safety concerns. We advocated for a lengthier punishment for Mr. Cox to best protect the community and are disappointed by today’s sentence."

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