Despite the thousands of undelivered letters stashed in his home and car, police say, a postal worker in Brooklyn assured authorities that he always delivered the "important" ones.
Federal prosecutors allege that 53-year-old Aleksey Germash, who worked for the USPS in New York City for 16 years, had 17,000 pieces of undelivered mail. According to the New York Daily News, the man allegedly hid the letters in his work locker at the Dyker Heights post office, his apartment and his Nissan Pathfinder.
One letter had been sent in 2005, authorities say.
A criminal complaint obtained by CNN says that the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General recently learned about the undelivered mail when a passerby saw Germash's car and multiple bags that seemed to be stuffed to the brim.
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Authorities say they found 10,000 letters in the car, 6,000 at his residence and 1,000 in the locker on April 18. Pix11 reports that Germash was arrested the following day.
Germash admitted that the car was his, police say, and said he didn't deliver the mail because he felt "overwhelmed."
But the postal worker added that he "made sure to deliver the important mail," CNN reported.
He is charged with knowingly holding on to mail, which the New York Daily News says could land him up to five years behind bars.
He got out on a $25,000 bond.
One of Germash's coworkers spoke to CBS New York about his friend's arrest.
“There’s no excuse for what he did,” Rob Cardazone said. “He’s got a daughter that right now he’s supporting in college. It’s heartbreaking.
"A lot of years on the job, not a wiseguy, just he probably thought it was easier to do what he was doing.”