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Postal Service says NY mailman kept 800 pieces of mail, including 3 ballots, in trunk

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A U.S. Postal Service worker in New York has been arrested after he allegedly tried to cross the border into Canada with 800 pieces of undelivered mail in his trunk — including a few absentee ballots.

Brandon Wilson, 27, of Buffalo has been charged with delay or destruction of mail, the Justice Department said in a Thursday statement.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers reportedly encountered Wilson attempting to cross into Canada from the Peace Bridge Port of Entry in Buffalo around 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

Wilson popped his trunk “as part of a standard CBP vehicle sweep” and officials spotted a Postal Service bin containing undelivered pieces of mail, according to the DOJ statement.

In total, authorities discovered 813 pieces of mail including three absentee ballots. The missing mail had postmarks between Sept. 16 and Oct. 26.

“Wilson stated the mail belonged to him and his mother. However, the defendant could not account for additional names printed on the mail pieces,” according to the statement. “Wilson further stated that he had intended to deliver the mail and had forgotten to return the mail pieces to the post office.” 

A spokesperson to the USPS told The Hill that Wilson was hired in October 2019 and is currently on “non-work status.” The missing mail will be returned to the Postal Service for delivery. 

NBC News reported that Wilson wrote about not delivering mail to a home because of an unleashed dog in a since-deleted Facebook post.

“I’m working today and this lady has her dog on the porch not chained up no leash nothing just walking back and forth so I’m walking past her house and she asked me I have no mail today while I have a bundle of mail for her in my hand I said NOPE!!!! And kept walking,” he wrote.

He included a laughing emoji and added, “listen I’m not playing with y’all I will walk smooth past your house with all your mail.”

If convicted, Wilson faces up to five years behind bars and a $250,000 fine.

“This Office is committed not only to ensuring the integrity of the mails but also of individuals’ rights to vote in a free and fair election,” stated U.S. Attorney James Kennedy Jr.  “The criminal conduct with which this defendant is alleged to have engaged, undermined both of those interests.”

The Postal Service has received a flood of additional mail in recent weeks as thousands of Americans cast their ballots through the mail during the coronavirus pandemic.

The flood of mail-in ballots has delayed results from Tuesday’s presidential election in several states. Ballots are still being counting in Georgia and Pennsylvania, two states inching Democratic nominee Joe Biden closer to the White House as of Friday morning

President Trump has for weeks made exaggerated and inaccurate claims about mail-in voting, saying that the election will be “rigged” and “fraudulent” if Americans vote through the mail. 

On Thursday night, he claimed without providing any direct evidence that the election was being stolen from him. 

Trump also tweeted earlier Thursday to “stop the count” as officials continued to tally legally-cast ballots, remarks his campaign later said applied to ballots that could have been illegally cast. Trump and his campaign have made allegations of fraud or irregularities in voting without producing evidence to back up their claims. 

– Updated 3:47 p.m. 

Tags 2020 election absentee ballots Brandon Wilson Buffalo Donald Trump election mail Joe Biden mail-in voting New York Postal system U.S. Postal Service United States Postal Service

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