NEW YORK (AP/PIX11) — A New York City postal carrier is accused of failing to deliver more than 40,000 pieces of mail, some dating to 2005.
According to a federal court complaint, Joseph Brucato hoarded the mail at his home, car and post office locker. He was arrested Wednesday after a supervisor noticed undelivered mail piled up in Brucato's personal vehicle.
Brucato, has been a regular United States Postal Service carrier since 2001 and at the Ryder Station Post Office in Brooklyn for the past 11 and a half years, according to court documents.
His supervisor allegedly found unattended mail in his car after a shift ended on Monday. The supervisor notified authorities.
The next day, Brucato told authorities that on some days he did not deliver the mail intended for his route for various personal reasons.
Brucato's route included businesses and residences in Flatbush.
The 67-year-old Brucato was arraigned Wednesday and released on his own recognizance.
Magistrate Vera Scanlon ordered him to "abstain from excessive alcohol consumption."
Brucato's attorney says his client suffered from depression.
Authorities say about 2,500 pounds of U.S. mail postmarked as far back as 2005 was recovered.
"The impacted customers will be notified by postal officials," USPS spokeswoman Connie Chirichello told PIX11 in a statement.
"Should the facts of this unroll as it appears thus far, it is a criminal act against our customers and against the Postal Service. As such, we take it very seriously and we will pursue all remedies available to us."
The charge of delay or destruction of mail or newspapers carries a maximum penalty of a fine, imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both, according to prosecutors.