U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced Monday that Brandon Wilson, 27, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy to delay or destruction of U.S. Mail. The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura A. Higgins, who is handling the case, stated that on November 3, 2020, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers encountered the defendant, an employee of the United States Postal Service (USPS) at the time, at the Peace Bridge Port of Entry. In the trunk of Wilson’s vehicle, officers found 701 mailings, and a USPS employee uniform and employee identification badge. The mailings included three (3) official absentee ballots mailed from the Board of Elections to voters, 218 first class mailings, 106 political mailings, 36 regular nonprofit mailings, 305 regular standard mailings, and 33 magazine/catalogue mailings. The mailings were destined for addresses located in the following zip codes: 14227, 14211, 14214, with a majority destined for 14215. The cancellation dates on the first class mailings were between September 16 and October 26, 2020.
When asked by officers about the mailings in his trunk, the defendant initially stated they belonged to him and his mother. When confronted with the destination names and addresses, Wilson admitted that he was a USPS postal carrier who kept custody of the mailings after failing to complete his delivery route.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kenneth Cleevely, Eastern Area Field Office, Pittsburgh, PA, and Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Director of Field Operations, Rose Brophy.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 6, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. before Magistrate Judge McCarthy.