The postal carrier who had 800 pieces of undelivered mail in the trunk of his car got caught, in part, thanks to a wrong turn, according to federal authorities.
Brandon Wilson, 27, was arrested Tuesday night at the Peace Bridge after border agents found a bin containing mail destined for several ZIP codes and included three absentee ballots sent out by the Erie County Board of Elections, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.
Wilson, of Buffalo, who was stopped at the bridge shortly after 7:30 p.m., allegedly told Customs and Border Protection agents the mail belonged to him and his mother, but could not explain the mail addressed to other people, according to the complaint filed by a special agent for the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General.
Wilson ended up at the bridge by accident. He had been traveling on the I-190 and got in the wrong lane, which brought him to the border crossing with Canada, federal authorities confirmed.
In addition to the absentee ballots, which had been sent to two addresses in Buffalo, the mail found in Wilson’s car consisted of 106 political mailings, 220 first-class mailings and 484 standard mailings.
Cancellation dates of the first-class mail showed seven dates between Sept. 16 and Oct. 26, according to the complaint.
In addition to the pieces of mail, Wilson also had several pieces of his carrier uniform and his identification badge.
During an interview with agents from the Postal Service Office of Inspector General, Wilson allegedly admitted placing mail from his delivery routes into the trunk of his car, according to the court documents.
“Beginning in September 2020, Wilson estimated he placed mail from his delivery routes into the trunk of his vehicle on more than four but less than 10 instances after returning to the post office from his assigned route,” special agent Brendan M. Boone wrote in the complaint. “Wilson intended to whittle down the amount of mail in the trunk of his vehicle by placing a small amount of the mail into USPS mis sort containers in the morning before his shift began. Wilson last reintroduced mailings into the mail stream in this fashion approximately three weeks prior [to] the date of the interview.”