Nicholas Beauchene, 26, of Kearny, New Jersey, was charged with one count of delay, secretion, or detention of mail and one count of obstruction of mail. Beauchene had been a mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) since July, according to a criminal complaint.
On or about Oct. 2, “a large quantity” of mail directed to addresses within West Orange, New Jersey, was found in a dumpster outside a bank in North Arlington, New Jersey, the documents say. The 788 pieces of mail there included about 98 general election ballots.
A second quantity was found in a dumpster outside a restaurant in West Orange on or about Oct. 5, authorities said; that mail included one general election ballot.
A total of about 1,875 pieces of mail were found in dumpsters. The recovered mail “was placed back into the mail stream for delivery to its intended recipients,” Craig Carpenito, the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, said in a statement.
An analysis of the recovered mail showed it was part of two postal routes on two different scheduled delivery dates. One portion was scheduled for delivery to Postal Route 79 on or about Sept. 28. The other was scheduled for delivery to Postal Route 50 on or about Oct. 1.
Both routes are serviced out of the Orange USPS office and cover areas of West Orange. Beauchene was the only mail carrier assigned to the routes on those days.
Delaying mail carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, while obstruction of mail could result in up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The post office in Orange where Beauchene was based didn’t answer a phone call on Wednesday.
Beauchene is no longer employed by the USPS, a regional spokesman told The Epoch Times via email. The spokesman didn’t address the mail dumping allegations.
It isn’t clear if Beauchene has retained an attorney. Information about his case wasn’t available on PACER, the federal court database, as of 4 p.m. on Oct. 7.