A United States postal worker was caught with a public storage unit full of mail he never delivered.
Jason Delacruz pleaded guilty to charges of delay of mail by a postal employee in August 2019. He is set to be sentenced on February 12.
Delacruz, who worked as a mail carrier in Chesapeake, Virginia, said he felt “pressured” and couldn’t “make time” to complete his mail route, according to court documents. He told authorities that he rented a public storage unit for $49 per month for “the sole purpose of storing mail he could not deliver.”
The employee said he started hiding mail in November or December 2018 and he rented the storage unit in February 2019, according to court records. He said he put mail he was unable to deliver in the unit from that time up until he was discovered in May 2019.
Delacruz told authorities he intended to deliver the mail in the storage unit, but he fell behind and was never able to, according to court documents. He said he never destroyed any mail.
Delacruz’s attorney, Wilfredo Bonilla, Jr., told CNN Wednesday that he was unable to comment at this time.
Agents from the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General found almost 5,000 pieces of mail in the storage unit in Virginia Beach.
They discovered 97 pieces of first-class mail, which included letters from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the IRS, insurance companies, bank statements and other tax return documents.
Magazines and other publications made up 115 pieces of mail. There was also one undelivered package found in the unit. The bulk of the mail was advertisements, more than 4,700 ads at that.
The Postal Service delivered the first-class mail after it was found. The ads were discarded because they were old by then.
“The employee no longer works for the Postal Service,” USPS public relations manager Dave Partenheimer told CNN Tuesday. “He resigned in 2019 and he worked for 14 months prior to his resignation.”
Delacruz could face a fine or up to five years in prison, according to federal law.