Officials announced a U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail carrier from was arrested on Wednesday for discarding mail, including 99 general election ballots sent from the County Board of Elections and intended to be delivered to West Orange residents from his assigned routes in Orange and West Orange.
According to officials, Nicholas Beauchene, 26, of Kearny, is charged by complaint with one count of delay, secretion, or detention of mail and one count of obstruction of mail.
Approximately 1,875 pieces of mail - including 627 pieces of first-class, 873 pieces of standard class, 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 Board of Education - were recovered from dumpsters in North Arlington and West Orange on October 2 and October 5, according to documents and statements made in court.
The mail had been scheduled to be delivered on September 28, October 1, and October 2, to addresses on certain postal routes in Orange and West Orange.
On the delivery dates for which mail was recovered, Beauchene was the only mail carrier assigned to deliver mail to the addresses on the recovered mail.
Officials say the recovered mail was placed back into the mail stream for delivery to its intended recipients. Copies of the recovered mail were made and retained as evidence.
The delay of mail charge is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The obstruction of mail charge is punishable by a maximum penalty of six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.