VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (CBS Local) — A postal service employee in Virginia who said he felt “pressured” to complete his route says he put mail into a storage unit instead of delivering because he was overwhelmed, according to federal documents.
Jason Delacruz, assigned as a city carrier assistant with the U.S. Postal Service in Chesapeake, told authorities he rented the unit in Virginia Beach in Feb. 2019 for $49 a month when he couldn’t finish his route and would drop off the undelivered mail there.
Delacruz was charged with delay in mail delivery by a postal employee and plead guilty in court.
He told CBS affiliate WTKR that at first he intended to deliver the mail when he had time, but got overwhelmed and fell behind.
— WTKR News 3 (@WTKR3) January 28, 2020
Authorities found almost 5000 pieces of mail in bundles, mostly advertisements. Records indicate the post office ultimately delivered the first-class mail but threw away expired advertisements.
The investigation started in May 2019 when someone who took pictures of Delacruz at the storage unit contacted the post office officials.
Delacruz, who didn’t want to be interviewed on camera, told WTKR he takes full responsibility for the crime. He said the job just wasn’t the right fit for him and he didn’t want to let anyone down, so he rented the unit.
Delacruz is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 12 in federal court.