A U.S. Postal Service official has pleaded guilty to taking bribes to help steer contracts to a Rockville-based company.

Gene Quarles, 47, of Spotsylvania, Va., pleaded guilty to bribery of a public official and faces up to 15 years at his sentencing, set for May 17.

Prosecutors said Quarles, a purchasing specialist, accepted thousands of dollars from 2010 to 2012, and in exchange, provided AH Computer Consulting with information so that AHCC could obtain $6 million worth of additional government contracts.

Quarles also forwarded various private call-in numbers for conference calls between USPS officials, where official business was discussed, so that AHCC employees could anonymously listen in and get a leg-up on their competition.

Quarles also provided AHCC with confidential USPS contracting information, including other vendors' proposals and labor rates, so that AHCC could tailor its bids to win the contracts.