ROCHESTER — Three city residents have pleaded guilty to kidnapping a mail carrier who they believed stole their cocaine.

Mark Rogers, 38, Joseph “Gus” Way and Tashara Levans, 37, each of Rochester, pleaded guilty to kidnapping of a federal employee during a federal court appearance. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The incident occurred Nov. 16, 2019 near Second Street and Central Park in Rochester. The trio kidnapped a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier while she was delivering mail.

Rogers and Way confronted the mail carrier about a package she delivered to them. The package did not contain any cocaine, which the two men were expecting.

They accused the mail carrier of stealing the drugs.

Rogers and Way directed the mail carrier to a vehicle driven by Rogers’ girlfriend Tashara Levans. Over the next two hours, Levans drove while Rogers and Way threatened to shoot and kill the mail carrier and her children if she did not provide either the cocaine or $70,000, which was the drug’s street value.

The mail carrier was eventually released unharmed.

The conviction is the result of an investigation by U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Rochester Police Department.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 11.

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