A USPS operative was arrested trying to abscond with over 800 pieces of stolen mail inside his car trunk, which included multiple absentee ballots.
The mailman from Buffalo, New York was attempting to cross the United States-Canada border with a trunk full of hundreds of envelopes and undelivered mail. The USPS operative claimed that he ended up on the bridge by accident, according to the Buffalo News.
Brandon Wilson, 27, was caught by Customs and Border Protection with a huge bin of mail spanning several zip codes in his vehicle. According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, included in the undelivered mail were three absentee ballots from the Erie County Board of Elections.
According to CBP agents, Wilson said that he was in the wrong lane on I-190 and accidentally ended up on the bridge. When pressed, Wilson claimed that the mail belonged to him and his mother, but could not explain the hundreds of pieces of mail addressed to other people.
In a later interview with the Postal Service Office of the Inspector General, the USPS operative admitted that he had been taking mail from his delivery route and putting it in his car.
“Beginning in September 2020, Wilson estimated he placed mail from his delivery routes into the trunk of his vehicle on more than four but less than 10 instances after returning to the post office from his assigned route,” special agent Brendan M. Boone wrote in the report.
“Wilson intended to whittle down the amount of mail in the trunk of his vehicle by placing a small amount of the mail into USPS missort containers in the morning before his shift began.
Wilson last reintroduced mailings into the mail stream in this fashion approximately three weeks prior [to] the date of the interview,” Boone continued.
The mail found in his trunk when he was caught at the U.S.-Canada border included 106 political mailings, 220 first-class mailings and 484 standard mailings. Wilson denied knowing that he was in possession of the absentee ballots.
Court documents state that Wilson has been charged with delaying or destroying mail. If convicted, he faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.