VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A former United States Postal Service delivery employee has been sentenced to two weeks for renting a storage locker for thousands of pieces of advertisements, first-class and second-class mail he was unable to deliver.
WAVY News 10’s Andy Fox was in court Wednesday for Jason Delacruz’s sentencing.
Delacruz, who was a mail carrier in Chesapeake, rented the storage locker in Virginia Beach starting in February 2019 for $49 per month. After he was caught on camera loading the mail into storage, he admitted he couldn’t make time to deliver all the mail on his route.
“I became overwhelmed and did not want to be embarrassed and didn’t want to do the wrong thing. I did not want to be a failure,” Delacruz said in court Wednesday. He also apologized to the court and his family for bringing embarrassment.
While a judge sentenced him to two weeks, prosecutors suggested a one-month sentence. He could have faced up to five years.
Delacruz was also ordered Wednesday to pay all restitution, amounting to $1,807.
He can self-report to the jail by Feb. 19.
A statement of facts filed Nov. 6, 2019 says on May 29, 2019, a complaint was filed with the USPS Officer of Inspector General (OIG) saying a USPS employee had been seen unloading mail into a public storage facility in Virginia Beach.
He said he first started hiding the mail in November of December 2018, then rented the storage 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.”
In the unit, officers found 17 bundles of advertisement mail dated between January and May 2019.
There were also 97 pieces of first-class mail including correspondence from the Department of Motor Vehicles, insurance companies, the IRS, bank statements, and other tax return documents.
There were 115 pieces of pre-sorted and second-class mail such as magazines and other publications.
There were also about 4,723 pieces of other assorted advertisement mail, as well as an undelivered package and six bundles of advertisement/coupon mail from RetailMeNot Company.
The USPS ultimately delivered all the first-class mail, but the advertisement mail was not delivered in a timely manner and therefore thrown away.