A former United States Postal Service (USPS) employee has been charged after allegedly discarding a large quantity of mail — including about 111 general election absentee ballots – earlier this month. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Kentucky, DeShawn Bojgere of Louisville, Kentucky has been charged with the delay or destruction of mail in relation to the crime, which comes amid the presidential election and President Donald Trump's continued disparaging remarks regarding mail-in ballots.
In a statement Monday, the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Kentucky said that sometime between Oct. 5 and Oct. 15, Bojgere "discarded a large quantity of mail." The mail, which was found in a construction dumpster, included more than 100 general election absentee ballots that had been sent to voters. The discarded mail also included about 69 mixed-class pieces of flat rate mail, 320 second-class pieces of mail, and two national election campaign flyers from a political party in Florida. Copies of the mail were made to retain for evidence, and all of the mail was sent to its intended recipients.
Bojgere, who is no longer employed by USPS, told special agents with the USPS that he was responsible for discarding the mail. He was charged with "the delay or destruction of mail," which is a federal offense. If convicted, he faces up to 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and one year of supervised release.
"Especially in these times, Americans depend on the reliability and integrity of those that deliver the U.S. Mail," United States Attorney Russell Coleman said in the Monday release. "Conduct by Postal employees that violates that duty will result in swift federal prosecution."
This marks the second such case this month. In early October, Nicholas Beauchene, a Postal Service mail carrier in New Jersey was arrested and charged with one count of delay, secretion or detention of mail and one count of obstruction of mail after he allegedly discarded mail. Among the hundreds of pieces of mail were 99 general election ballots that were addressed to residents of West Orange, New Jersey, according to The Hill. Beauchene faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the delay charge, and up to six months in prison, and a $6,000 fine for obstruction.
The incidents come as a record number of voters are expected to vote by mail amid the coronavirus pandemic, something that has irked the president, who for months now has rallied against mail-in ballots, which he says could lead it widespread fraud. Experts, however, have insisted that there is no evidence suggesting mail-in voting contributes to voter fraud.