WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WKBW) — A West Seneca postal worker is accused of stealing or not delivering mail including absentee ballots and political mailers, according to a criminal complaint.
According to the complaint, on November 3rd, the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General (OIG) received notification from the National Law Enforcement Communications Center of possible USPS employee misconduct.
At around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers encountered Brandon Wilson at the Peace Bridge Port of Entry in Buffalo.
According to prosecutors, Wilson was on the 190, but took a wrong turn and ended up at the Peace Bridge.
Following a standard CBP vehicle sweep, Wilson opened the trunk of his car, where CBP officers found multiple pieces of mail along with a USPS box.
Wilson claimed the mail belonged to him and his mother, and however, could not account for additional names printed on the mail pieces.
Upon investigation, OIG Special Agents uncovered the following
- Three absentee ballots sent to two Buffalo addresses from the Erie County, Board of Elections
- 106 political mailings
- 220 first class mailings
- and 484 standard mailings for an approximate total of 813 mail pieces
According to the complaint, the first-class letter mailings revealed mail to destination zip codes 14227, 14211, 14214, and with the majority destined for 14215.
Wilson denied discarding mail pieces and denied stealing greeting cards, cash, or checks from his delivery route, and denied knowledge of the three election ballots discovered within the recovered mail.
In a later interview, he admitted to putting the mail in his trunk and said he would decrease the amount of mail by putting some in the mis-sort boxes before his shift. According to prosecutors, he hadn't put any mail in the mis-sort bins for more than three weeks.
He was detained at CBP and taken to the CBP Station in Buffalo.
According to USPS, the employee is on "emergency placement" which means he will not have access to mail or be at work until the investigation is complete.
U.S. Attorney J.P. Kennedy says, “This Office is committed not only to ensuring the integrity of the mails but also of individuals’ rights to vote in a free and fair election,.The criminal conduct with which this defendant is alleged to have engaged, undermined both of those interests.”