VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -– A postal service employee has pleaded guilty to charges that he kept 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 May 29, 2019, after U.S. Post Office officials got a complaint about a postal service employee unloading mail into a public storage facility in Virginia Beach.
A witness took pictures of the suspicious behavior, took a picture of the employee’s license plate and contacted post office officials, according to court records.
Jason Delacruz was assigned as a city carrier assistant with the U.S. Postal Service at the Chesapeake Main Post Office, records state. 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 admitted to loading the mail into his unit at the storage facility.
He told authorities that he “can’t make time” and felt “pressured” to complete his route, court records state, and 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 of 2018 and first rented the unit in February 2019.
Delacruz said he first intended to deliver the mail when he found time, but fell behind and was never able to do so. Authorities found bundles of mail stacked along the backside of the unit.
Court records state that agents found hundreds of pieces of mail, including from the Department of Motor Vehicles, insurance companies, the IRS, bank statements and other tax return documents.
Records indicate that the Post Office ultimately delivered the first-class mail but discarded the advertisement mail. Delacruz pleaded guilty to the delay of mail matter by an officer or employee.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 12, 2020, in federal court.