A U.S. Postal Service letter carrier admitted today that he tossed 1,875 pieces of mail – including 99 ballots sent to West Orange residents, during the 2020 general election.
Nicholas Beuchene, a 26-year-old Kearny resident, was caught after the discarded mail was found in dumpsters in North Arlington and West Orange.
In an appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy Waldor today, Beuchene pleaded guilty to an information that charged him with one count of desertion of mail.
The story was first reported by the New Jersey Globe in October after a North Jersey man posted a photo of the discarded mail on Facebook.
Beuchene was charged three days later.
While he had initially faced 5 ½ years in prison, prosecutors said today that he now faces a maximum of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
The USPS Office of the Inspector General launched a probe into the dumped mail shortly after it was discovered last week. That investigation, which preceded Beauchene’s arrest, was led by Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modafferi.
Also abandoned were 276 campaign mailers for candidates running for West Orange Township Council and the local Board of Education.
The mail was recovered and delivered, though the recipients were not told their mail spent some time in a trash receptacle.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said last year that Beauchene was the only mail carrier assigned to deliver mail to the addresses found on the dumpster mail.
The North Arlington Police Department aided the investigation.
Beuchene is due to be sentenced at a later date.