ESSEX COUNTY, N.J. — A New Jersey postal worker is facing federal charges after nearly 2,000 pieces of mail, including ballots, were found in dumpsters.
Although prosecutors said they do not believe there was any political motivation in discarding the items, Nicholas Beauchene, 26, has been charged with delay, secretion or detention of mail and obstruction of mail, USA Today reported.
U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said a total of 1,875 pieces of mail, including 99 general election ballots, intended for Essex County, were found in the North Arlington dumpsters Friday and Monday.
Beauchene had already resigned from his postal service position before the charges were levied and had admitted to dumping the mail. He was released on $25,000 bail into the custody of his brother, the outlet reported.
Beauchene faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the delay charge and up to six months in prison and a $6,000 fine for obstruction, The Hill reported.
Carpenito said the discarded ballots were addressed to residents of West Orange, New Jersey.
Aside from the ballots, prosecutors said 627 pieces of first-class mail, 873 pieces of standard class, two pieces of certified mail and 276 campaign flyers for West Orange Town Council and Board of Education candidates were recovered, The Hill reported.
The recovered items were placed back into the mail stream for delivery to its intended recipients, Carpenito said.
© 2020 Cox Media Group