A Postal Service worker in Virginia hid thousands of pieces of mail in a rented storage locker after he fell behind on his deliveries and wasn't able to catch up.
The postal worker, Jason Delacruz, told authorities that he felt "stressed out" and "pressured" to deliver the mail but that he couldn't "make time" to complete his route, WTKR-TV reported.
Delacruz said that he originally intended to deliver the stashed mail, but got overwhelmed by the job and was never able to do so.
Now, he faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to the charge of felony delay of mail by a postal worker last November.
The investigation into Delacruz began in May after U.S. Post Office workers received a complaint that a postal worker was unloading mail into a public storage unit in Virginia Beach.
When agents with the U.S. Postal Service's Office of the Inspector General confronted him, Delacruz admitted he had been hiding mail since late 2018 and that he began renting the $49-per-month unit in February for the sole purpose of storing mail he could not deliver.
According to WTKR-TV, when authorities searched the unit, they found thousands of pieces of mail, including "97 pieces of first-class mail that included mail from the Department of Motor Vehicles, insurance companies, the IRS, bank statements and other tax return documents."
Most of the other items were advertisements and second-class mail, such as magazine subscriptions, though authorities did find one undelivered package among the stash.
Delacruz had been hired by the U.S. Postal Service as a city carrier assistant in June 2018, but according to CNN, he resigned in 2019 after working 14 months.
He is scheduled for sentencing on Feb. 12.