An upstate New York USPS employee was arrested on Tuesday trying to cross the United States-Canada border with over 800 pieces of mail inside his trunk, including several absentee ballots.
The Buffalo, NY mailman, who was caught with his trunk full of hundreds of envelopes and other undelivered mail, claimed he had ended up on the bridge between the two countries by accident, according to the Buffalo News.
Brandon Wilson, 27, was found by Customs and Border Protection to have a huge bin of mail spanning several zip codes in his vehicle. Among the undelivered mail were three absentee ballots from the Erie County Board of Elections, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.
Wilson told CBP agents 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 mail addressed to other people.
In a subsequent interview with the Postal Service Office of the Inspector General, Wilson 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 a 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 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.
According to court documents, Wilson has been charged with delaying or destroying mail. He faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.