A postal worker in New York City has been charged after law enforcement officials discovered more than 17,000 pieces of undelivered mail in his possession, according to a criminal complaint.
Aleksey Germash, 53, allegedly had pieces of undelivered mail at his home in Brooklyn and in his car and work locker at the Dyker Heights post office. One of the pieces that authorities discovered was postmarked in 2005, the federal complaint said.
Germash was charged Thursday with violating a federal law regarding the delivery of US mail.
The raft of undelivered mail was discovered after someone reported to the US Postal Service Office of Inspector General that a Nissan Pathfinder parked in Brooklyn contained multiple full blue mailbags. Agents determined that Germash was the closest postal employee to the location of the Pathfinder.
They interviewed Germash, who said the vehicle was his and that "he was overwhelmed by the amount of mail that he had to deliver." Germash said he "made sure to deliver the important mail," the complaint said.
Agents searched Germash's home, car and locker and discovered more hidden mail, authorities said. About 10,000 pieces were in his car, about 1,000 pieces were in his locker and about 6,000 pieces were in his apartment, according to the complaint.
Germash, a 16-year Postal Service employee, was released on a $25,000 bond, according to a spokesman for the US attorney's office in Brooklyn.
Germash's attorney, New York federal defender Michelle Gelernt, had no comment.