New York Postal Worker Charged for Stealing Political Mailers, Campaign Ballots

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BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Sean Barrett, 30, of Sanborn, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with delay or destruction of mail. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Bonanno, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on October 13, 2020, the Lewiston, NY, Police Department notified the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG) that USPS mail pieces were discovered by witnesses next to a trail in a wooded area off Pletcher Road in Youngstown, NY. The following day, the USPS OIG responded to the Lewiston Police Department and retrieved three mail bins and two garbage bags containing a total of 1,314 first class, certified, and standard mailings. The mail pieces included 15 political mailings and one blank election ballot destined for a Youngstown address. Subsequent investigation determined that the mail was destined for addresses on a mail route assigned to the defendant, who began working for the USPS in 2016. A check of USPS records found that Barrett’s assigned USPS scanner was dormant on October 13, 2020, between 12:20 pm and 3:54 p.m., in the area where the mail pieces were located. During this time period, the defendant’s true location could not be determined.

On October 19, 2020, the USPS OIG returned to the location where the mail pieces were located and found 14 bundles of Western New York Value Papers that had also been discarded. Another 14 bundles of the value papers were found about 30 yards away.

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The defendant made an initial appearance this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy and was released on conditions.

The complaint 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 the Lewiston Police Department, under the direction of Chief Frank Previte.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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