A Brooklyn postal worker was arrested on Thursday, April 19 after 17,000 pieces of undelivered mail were found in his car and home, reports said.
According to reports, Aleksey Germash, a letter carrier who’s worked for the United States Postal Service for more than 16 years and who was working out of the Dyker Heights Post Office, 8320 13th Avenue, was found to be in possession of mail dating back to 2005.
He reportedly told investigators he hung onto the mail because he was “overwhelmed” by the amount he had to deliver each day.
Germash reportedly said he had made sure to deliver “the important mail.”
“I live in Dyker Heights so I can attest to the grumbling that’s been going on in regards to missing or late mail,” Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann said.
Beckmann herself has missed out on at least one family event invitation and a birthday card. In addition, she said, a delivery of “Flat Stanley” – a children’s book character who, thanks to a national movement, kids can cut out and mail to family and friends so that Stanley, a young boy who wants to travel the world, can do just that – took over a month to get to her home in Brooklyn from Colorado.
“Poor Stanley,” she joked, “but in all seriousness, that’s just ridiculous.”
Beckmann does believe that the high volume of parcels coming in and out of the Dyker Heights post office can be blamed for instances like this, citing a recent delivery contract the United States Postal Service (USPS) entered into with Amazon.
“Since the USPS entered into an agreement with Amazon, the number of parcels, trucks and overall deliveries has increased tremendously, putting a big burden on our post offices,” she said, adding also that the USPS often hires “provisional workers.”
With Germash being a longtime employee, this case, Beckmann said, boils down to the postal service’s review process.
“I think that there needs to be a serious review so that we can figure out how this happened and how to make sure it never happens again,” she said.
Councilmember Justin Brannan is calling for a similar investigation.
“My office has seen an increase in mail delivery complaints compared to previous years and I wouldn’t be shocked to learn that this carrier caused at least some of it. I am calling on the post office to fully investigate how this was allowed to go on for so long and to take steps to make sure it does not happen again in the future,” he told this paper. “That said, while the recent news is absolutely outrageous, I do want to remind people that the vast majority of mail carriers are good, hard-working people and by no means should they be vilified for the actions of one bad apple.”
State Senator Marty Golden has also received numerous complaints, and is calling for USPS to put procedures in place to ensure a similar situation doesn’t happen in the future.
“This is a disturbing case of dereliction of duty by a postal worker,” he said. “To have 17,000 pieces of undelivered mail is mind-boggling and raises concerns about the United States Post Service’s ability to monitor their personnel. I hope that instance will compel the USPS to implement safeguards to prevent this from happening again.”
Approximately 10,000 pieces of mail were recovered from Germash’s car. Another 1,000 were found in his locker and about 6,000 were tucked away in his apartment.
Authorities were tipped off to the situation after full bags of mail were seen inside the Dyker mailman’s car.
This is the second incident of its kind in two weeks for the USPS. A Long Island letter carrier was arrested on April 9 under similar charges. The Bellmore mailman had been stashing dozens of bags of undelivered parcels behind his home.
“The U.S. Postal Service has over 600,000 employees and the vast majority of their personnel are dedicated, hard-working public servants dedicated to moving mail to its proper destination who would never consider engaging in any form of criminal behavior. This type of alleged behavior within the Postal Service is not tolerated,” said Matthew Modafferi, deputy special agent in charge at the USPS Northeast Area Field Office. “The special agents in the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General vigorously investigate these matters as we did in this instance and work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to hold those employees who violate that public trust accountable.”
Beckmann for her part believes that those who feel they might’ve missed out on mail need to go the extra mile and file a report.
“I know I’m guilty of not doing it,” she said. “But I think that, especially when we have a lot of anecdotal information floating around, it’s best to just put it in writing and let somebody know.”
Those who think they may have been a victim of mail theft or slow delivery are urged to call 888-USPS-OIG or file a complaint online at USPSOIG.gov.