A man who was formerly employed as a USPS mail carrier has admitted to discarding mail, including nearly 100 general election ballots, the Justice Department said on Thursday.
Nicholas Beauchene, 26, of Kearny, New Jersey, has pleaded guilty to one count of desertion of mails, in which he discarded about 1,875 pieces of mail destined for West Orange and Orange residents over three days. Some of the mail was discovered in a dumpster in North Arlington on Oct. 2 last year, while a second batch of mail was found outside a restaurant in West Orange on or around Oct. 5, 2020. The mail was placed back in the mail stream for delivery.
Among the discarded items were 627 pieces of first-class mail, 873 pieces of standard class mail, two pieces of certified mail, 99 general election ballots destined for residents in West Orange, and 276 campaign flyers from local candidates for West Orange Town Council and the Board of Education.
A regional spokesperson of USPS previously told The Epoch Times that Beauchene is no longer employed by the service.
An analysis of the discarded mail found that one portion was scheduled for delivery last year to Postal Route 79 on or about Sept. 28. The other was scheduled for delivery to Postal Route 50 on or around Oct. 1. Meanwhile, a third batch was scheduled for delivery to addresses within Postal Route 7 and 50 on or around Oct. 2. Beauchene was assigned as the mail carrier for those routes on those days, according to prosecutors.
Beauchene faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. His sentencing has been scheduled for Sept. 21.
The incident occurred during a time when various states and locates were encouraging voting by mail-in ballots amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus outbreak. Former President Donald Trump criticized the Democrat-led push for universal mail-in voting, claiming that it left elections vulnerable to fraud.
During his first appearance in the federal court, U.S. Attorney Sara F. Merin told the court there was no evidence at the time that Beauchene’s actions were politically motivated. Beauchene’s attorneys also said that the actions of their client were not politically motivated, according to NJ.com.