USPS employee arrested after allegedly dumping mail, including NJ ballots

ORANGE, NJ. – The incidents of complications with mail-in voting started off being reported once every couple of months, then every month, then several times a month, then several times a week, and now, we are at the point where mail-in-voting issues are being reported almost daily, if not multiple times a day.

On Wednesday, Law Enforcement Today reported about an incident in Teaneck, NJ where thousands of voters received the wrong ballots.

Now New Jersey is facing additional issues when it comes to their “security” of mail-in-voting.

On Wednesday, October 7th, officials announced a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier was arrested for discarding mail, including 99 general election ballots sent from a county board of elections.

26-year-old Nicholas Beauchene of Kearny, is charged by complaint with one count of delay, secretion, or detention of mail, and one count of obstruction of mail.

He was scheduled to appear Wednesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court.

According to ABC7, approximately 1,875 pieces of mail, which consisted of 627 pieces of first class, 873 pieces of standard class, two pieces of certified mail, and 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 Oct. 2 and Oct 5, according to documents and statements made in court.

The mail was intended for residents in Orange and West Orange, that were supposed to be delivered on Sept. 28, Oct. 1, and Oct. 2, 2020.

After a more in-depth look at the incident, it was discovered that 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 made copies of the recovered mail, and retained them for evidence, before placing the pieces back into the mail stream to be delivered to the intended recipients.

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.

Here is the original story from earlier today regarding the ballot issues in Teaneck, NJ.

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TEANECK, NJ – After the state of New York recently sent out over 100,000 incorrect oath envelopes with mail- in ballots, voters in the State of New Jersey apparently did not want to be left out, as thousands of voters in that state received the wrong ballot.

Almost 7,000 voters in the city of Teaneck, New Jersey, received their ballots in the mail, only to realize that they were the wrong ones.

Voters in the city noticed that some of the residents, who live in the fifth congressional district, while others live in the ninth received the opposite ballots. This is problematic because a person cannot knowingly vote for someone who is not in their district, yet, those are the ballots they received.

The Clerk of Court for Bergen County, John Hogan, told NorthJersey.com that the issue affected several thousand voters. Over 1,300 were affected in the fifth district, while over 5,500 were affected in the ninth.

In 2016, the city of Teaneck had 28,631 registered voters. The local elections officials sent out 28,151 ballots, out of those, 6,867 were printed in error. Hogan advised that new ballots would be sent out to those affected to fix the errors.

Hogan wanted the people who received incorrect ballots to know that they can destroy the first ones, and wait for the new ones to arrive in the mail. He assures that, somehow, if both ballots get sent in, only one will count toward the general election next month. He also claims that those people who decide to vote in person will not have their vote counted until the state can verify they did not vote by mail.

According to NorthJeresy, Hogan said the issue, like in New York, was an error on the part of the private mailing company. Hogan explained that the private vendor which was acquired to print the ballots, in turn contracted with a private mailing company which was supposed to place the right ballots in the mail.

New Jersey had hoped to conduct all of its voting through the mailing system and discouraged in person voting, supposedly due to concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to encourage registered voters to vote by mail, everyone who is registered to vote was sent an official ballot.

The move was made after Democratic New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy decided it was a good idea to do so.

He said:

“We’re going to extend that model (from the primary) into the general election in November. Most importantly, we’ve learned some lessons, including we’re going to have more presence of more secure drop boxes.

“Make sure there is that physical, in-voting capacity. And as it relates to mail-in ballots, the good news is in a general election, it doesn’t matter what party you’re in, everybody gets a ballot.”

President Donald Trump, and many Republicans have warned that voting by mail in any form during the upcoming election, could lead to fraud or stolen votes. Despite the many examples that President Trump and LET has given, Democrats still claim that mail in voting is safe and that anything to the contrary is a Republican conspiracy theory.

However, mail-in voting in the State of New Jersey, among other states, has had it’s share of controversary. For instance, in July, over 1,500 ballots were sent in for the state primary but were not counted. It was noticed roughly a month after the primary election, and those ballots were in a mislabeled bin.

The state claims that they were able to count those votes, and it did not change any of the races. But with a state that cannot get simple correct ballots out to voters, can that be trusted?

More than 1,600 mail-in ballots discovered in ‘mislabeled’ bin – two months after New Jersey primary

SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ – With numerous media outlets and personalities trying to quell peoples’ concerns over possible caveats with mail-in ballots, reports of over 1,600 ballots discovered months after a primary election in New Jersey is likely not going to help alleviate concerns.

Apparently, officials from the Board of Elections recently discovered 1,666 ballots that were found in what was described as a “mislabeled bin” that was within a “secure area’ at the board office.”

These ballots stemmed from Sussex County in relation to the July 7th primary, according to Board of Elections Administrator Marge McCabe.

The ballots, which were found on September 10th, were said to have not been able to alter the outcome of any of the elections that transpired during the primary after being recently accounted for.

Yet, even after discovering these ballots nearly two months after the July 7th primary, the board claims to feel “confident” that all the votes have been since been counted:

“The Board of Elections is confident that all ballots received have been processed and the security of all the ballots has remained in place.”

But with primary results like that of the race between Ed Ramm Jr. and Township Committee incumbent David Hansen gunning for the Republican nomination being a 20 vote difference (with Hansen leading by those 20 votes) – the possibility of missing ballots can certainly create pause.

Concerns over the enormous shift to mail-in ballots in the era of the pandemic has been riddled with troubling scenarios.

Looking at Glendale, California, an incident involving mail seemingly dumped and discarded has created wavering trust in the U.S. Postal Service.

Here’s our previous report on that story.

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GLENDALE, CA – A strange occurrence transpired recently in Glendale, California where piles of mail were seemingly dumped in two separate locations.

While the USPS is saying that they weren’t the culprits, video evidence was captured of at least one of the sites of the dumping where a rental truck was carrying said mail.

With the ongoing national conversation regarding the reliability of the USPS being able to handle mail-in ballots for the upcoming national election, this incident from September 3rd is not doing anything good for the mail carrier’s image.

Glendale Police Department Sgt. Christian Hauptmann says that the first of the two mail discarding incidents was said to have been reported at approximately 7:00 a.m. within the 1000 block of Allen Avenue.

Just about two hours after that reported incident, police were notified of the second dumping of mail within the 1600 block of Glenoaks Boulevard.

Surveillance video had captured the second incident, which the mail was dumped in a rear alley outside of the 7Q Spa Laser & Aesthetics.

In the video, you can see someone in a large Budget rental truck back into an area, open the sliding back door of the moving truck and start tossing several bags of U.S. mail on the ground and driving off.

One of the owners of the spa, Lilia Serobian, spoke about the incident with a local news crew:

“It happened early in the morning, 5:40, and it was a Budget rental — big truck — that backed up to the parking lot. And they’re like, slowly, one by one, they’re dropping the packages.”

While it is unclear if both discovered piles of mail were dumped by the same truck, the two locations were approximately one mile apart.

Reportedly, Postal Service investigators are currently looking into the matter and actively trying to determine which local post office these pieces of mail may have come from.

Not to mention, they’re also trying to ascertain who it was that rented the truck used in the scandal.

Omar Gonzalez, the Western Regional Coordinator for the American Postal Workers Union, commented on the investigation as well. Gonzalez explained that based upon the bags seen in the surveillance video, it appears that the mail dumped appeared to be bulk mail shipments.

Gonzalez further noted that they reached out to upper management in Glendale regarding the fiasco:

“We talked to the Glendale supervisor and the Glendale manager and asked from where the contractors would have received the bags. That’s when they responded, telling us the Union should not speak about it.”

What’s currently uncertain is whether the mail was intended to be transferred to the Glendale post office or if it was departing from Glendale and scheduled for delivery to the intended recipients.

However, what is certain is that if the mail was intended to be brought to Glendale’s post office for sorting, then it is supposed to be in a USPS truck and taken to a processing center.

But even if it was outgoing mail, Gonzalez still doesn’t know how it managed to get inside of that rental truck:

“If it’s outgoing, we don’t know how it got into the Budget truck.”

Nonetheless, the mail bags have been recovered and will be delivered – albeit with likely delays if there were intended promissory delivery dates, according to Gonzalez. Local police are also assisting with the investigation as well to determine what happened.

Matters like this case, when it pertains to stealing or tampering with mail, falls under 18 U.S. Code § 1708 – which is a federal offense. If someone is convicted under said statute, they could face up to five years in federal prison and suffer fines as well.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today to receive updates as this case further develops.

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