VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A postal service employee is facing charges after he kept people's mail in a Virginia Beach storage unit instead of delivering it. He told authorities he was overwhelmed and couldn't complete his deliveries.
The investigation started back on May 29, 2019, after U.S. Post Office officials got a complaint about a postal service employee who was unloading mail into a public storage facility in Virginia Beach.
Court records state the witness took pictures of the suspicious behavior, took a picture of the employee’s license plate and contacted post office officials.
Records also state that Jason Delacruz was assigned as a city carrier assistant with the U.S. Postal Service at the Chesapeake Main Post Office. He has been working as a postal carrier since June 2018.
The Office of the Inspector General confronted Delacruz about the allegations. He said that he didn’t go anywhere after leaving the post office on May 29.
Delacruz was then confronted with the information concerning the public storage facility, and he admitted to loading the mail into his unit at the storage facility.
Records state he told authorities that he “can’t make time” and felt “pressured” to complete his route. They indicate that he admitted to renting the public storage unit for $49 per month for the sole purpose of storing mail he could not deliver.
He told authorities he first started hiding mail in November or December 2018 and had first rented the unit in February 2019. He continued to put mail in there until he was caught.
Delacruz said he first intended to deliver the mail when he found time, but he fell behind and was never able to do so. Authorities searched the storage unit and found bundles of mail stacked all along the backside of the unit.
Agents found 17 bundles of advertisement mail dated from January 2019 through May 2019. Records say they found 97 pieces of first-class mail that included mail from the Department of Motor Vehicles, insurance companies, the IRS, bank statements and other tax return documents.
Records say they found 115 pieces of pre-sorted and second-class mail that included magazines and other publications.
They also found 4,723 other pieces of assorted advertisement mail. The agents also found one undelivered package and six bundles of advertisement/coupon mail from the company RetailMeNot.
Records indicate the post office ultimately delivered the first-class mail but they threw away the advertisement mail.
Delacruz pleaded guilty to delay of mail matter by officer or employee.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 12 in federal court.