A U.S. Postal Service mail carrier in New Jersey, has been arrested and charged with mail obstruction after dumping over 1,000 pieces of mail including 99 general election ballots in a dumpster, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpentino announced Wednesday, The Hill reported.
Nicholas Beauchene was charged with one count of mail obstruction and one count of delay, secretion, or detention of mail. His court appearance was held Wednesday via Zoom. He was released on $25,000 bail into the custody of his brother.
Beauchene has resigned from his job with the Postal Service and admitted dumping the mail, though there was “no indication that there was any political motive.”
The discarded ballots were addressed to residents of West Orange, N.J., U.S. Attorney Craig Carpentino said.
According to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, approximately 1,875 pieces of mail were recovered from dumpsters in North Arlington and West Orange between Oct. 2 and Oct. 5.
The discarded mail is now back in the mail stream and will be delivered to residents, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
Handling of election mail by mail carriers has become a source of controversy and is under intense scrutiny ahead of the November election with more Americans casting their ballots by mail due to coronavirus concerns.
President Trump has repeatedly raised concern that mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud.
The Trump campaign sued New Jersey in August seeking to overturn Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) executive order requiring every voter in the state to receive mail-in ballots, in addition to being allowed to vote in person, according to The Hill.