Cops: Civilian crime lab worker caught buying crack

Melanie Postell was arrested by cops in North Philly on Friday for allegedly buying a packet of crack cocaine from some neighborhood drug dealers.

Postell’s day job: cataloging confiscated drugs at the Philadelphia Police Department’s Forensic Science Center.

Melanie_Postell (2)

Needless to say, this story could get much worse.

Police spokesman Lt. Ray Evers said tonight that an Internal Affairs investigation has begun to determine whether Postell, 45, has ever tampered with any of the drugs she was assigned to handle at work.

“They’ll do a full audit of everything she ever touched, as far back as they can go,” Evers said.

“They’ll probably pull some samples and check items that she actually processed.”

Postell is a civilian who has been employed by the city for the past nine years.

It was unclear last night exactly when she started working at the Forensic Science Center at 8th and Poplar streets.

Evers said that Postell worked as “a clerk in drug intake,” a job that required her to put bar codes on sealed drug evidence and place the evidence in a safe.

She was never required to weigh or perform tests on any of the drugs.

Narcotics Strike Force officers spotted Postell about 7:30 p.m. Friday while they were doing surveillance work on Darien Street near Lehigh Avenue, Evers said.

Postell walked up to a drug dealer, made a purchase and then climbed into a silver car, police said.

Evers said that the cops stopped the car on nearby Somerset Street, and found Postell and her husband, James, 56, in the car, with a packet of crack cocaine.

Postell was charged with conspiracy to purchase a controlled substance; her husband was charged with purchasing and possessing a controlled substance.

The couple, who live on Wakeling Street near Mulberry, in Northeast Philadelphia, were released on recognizance.

Evers said that Melanie Postell has been removed from the Forensics building and placed in another clerical position while Internal Affairs investigates the case.