Postal worker filled Virginia storage unit with mail he couldn't 'make time' to deliver, officials say

Jason Delacruz, who worked at the Post Office in Chesapeake, told authorities he felt "pressured" and could not finish his route in time.
Photo: U.S. postal service truck
Jason Delacruz pleaded guilty in November to felony delay of mail by a postal employee for renting a storage unit to hide thousands of pieces of mail he did not deliver. Mike Blake / Reuters file

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By Minyvonne Burke

A Virginia Postal Service worker who told officials he rented a storage unit to hide thousands of pieces of mail he could not "make time" to deliver is set to be sentenced next month, federal authorities said.

Jason Delacruz told agents with the U.S. Postal Service's Office of Inspector General that he felt "pressured" to deliver the mail but couldn't "make time" to finish his route.

Delacruz, who worked at the Post Office in Chesapeake, about 6 miles south of Norfolk, pleaded guilty in November to felony delay of mail by a postal employee. He faces a fine and up to five years in prison.

Agents began investigating the mailman in May after a complaint that he was unloading his mail truck at a storage unit in Virginia Beach. The person said they took photos of Delacruz putting the mail in the unit, according to a court document.

When questioned by agents, Delacruz said he began hiding mail in late 2018 and rented the $49-per-month storage unit in February "for the sole purpose of storing mail he could not deliver," the document states.

Delacruz told agents that he intended to deliver the mail but fell behind and was not able to do so.

An attorney for him could not immediately be reached for comment.

Bundles of mail were stacked along the back wall of the unit, according to the court document. The undelivered items included 97 pieces of first-class mail from agencies such as the Department of Motor Vehicle, the Internal Revenue Service and insurance companies.

There were also more than 100 pieces of mail such as magazine subscriptions and more than 4,720 advertisements and coupons. There was also an undelivered package in the storage unit.

The Postal Service later delivered the first-class mail and discarded the advertisements because they had expired, officials said.

Delacruz was hired by the Postal Service in June 2018. A spokesman for the USPS told CNN that he resigned in 2019 and had been employed for 14 months prior to his resignation.