A suburban Buffalo postal worker was arrested Friday and charged with dumping more than 1,300 pieces of mail, including a blank election ballot, in the woods, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday.
Sean Barrett, 30, of Youngstown, New York, is accused of tossing three USPS bins and two garbage bags full of mail into a wooded area near his home.
Prosecutors said 15 political mailings and one blank election ballot were among the 1,314 pieces of first-class, certified, and stand mail recovered from the woods.
Investigators determined that the addresses on the mail matched the route assigned to Mr. Barrett, who began working for the post office in 2016, according to court records.
Mr. Barrett was first seen allegedly dumping the mail in the wooded area on October 13, prosecutors said. During the time he was spotted throwing away the mail, his USPS scanner was dormant, according to court filings.
The next day, Lewiston, New York, police uncovered the mail.
On October 19, the USPS inspector general returned to the location and found an additional 14 bundles of Western New York Value Papers that been discarded about 30 yards from where the mail was found about a week earlier, court records revealed.
Mr. Barrett faces the federal criminal charge of delay or destruction of mail. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
He is the second western New York postal worker this month charged with tossing away undelivered mail.
Prosecutors have also charged Brandon Wilson, 27, of Buffalo, with stealing 800 pieces of mail, including three absentee ballots.
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