Mail Carrier's Wrong Turn Earns Him an Arrest

CBP agents say 800 pieces of mail were in trunk of Buffalo USPS worker's car
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2020 9:21 AM CST
Updated Nov 8, 2020 4:30 PM CST
Mail Carrier's Wrong Turn Earns Him an Arrest
In this July 31, 2020, file photo, letter carriers load mail trucks for deliveries at a US Postal Service facility in McLean, Va.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

A US Postal Service mail carrier in Buffalo has been arrested after authorities say Customs and Border Protection officials found 813 pieces of mail in the trunk of his car as he drove back to Buffalo from Canada. Per a criminal complaint filed by Brendan Boone, a special agent with the USPS Office of Inspector General, 27-year-old Brandon Wilson was driving over the Peace Bridge toward New York on Tuesday evening when his car was stopped "as part of a standard CBP vehicle sweep," reports NBC News. When he popped the trunk of his 2016 Chevy Impala for the agents, CBP found the hundreds of pieces of mail designated for various ZIP codes, including three absentee ballots sent out by the Erie County Board of Elections. All of the mail bore postmarks ranging from Sept. 16 to Oct. 26, per the Buffalo News.

At first, Wilson told CBP officials the mail was for him and his mom, but he couldn't explain the mail bearing other names, per the complaint. During a subsequent interview with USPS OIG agents, Wilson admitted he'd placed mail from his delivery routes into the trunk of his car as many as nine times, and that after each incident he "intended to whittle down the amount of mail in the trunk of his vehicle" by placing it in USPS sorting containers the next day, the complaint notes. Officials believe he was stealing greeting card cash and checks, though Wilson denies that, as well as any knowledge of the absentee ballots, per CNY Central. In an extra stroke of bad luck for Wilson, he wasn't supposed to be on the bridge: He made a wrong turn and ended up there. If he's convicted of the crime of delaying or destroying mail, he could see up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. (More US Postal Service stories.)

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