Federal criminal charges have been filed separately in Pittsburgh against two postal carriers accused of throwing away mail — including an application for a mail-in ballot and political advertisements.
Both men are charged with delay or destruction of mail by a postal employee.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, on Oct. 8, the postal service got a tip that a mail carrier who lived on Meadowcrest Road in Baldwin had been seen taking mail from the rear of his vehicle and putting it in garbage bags.
He was identified as Sean Troesch, 48, who worked out of the Mount Oliver post office.
On Sunday, the postal service Office of Inspector General learned that Troesch had placed nine trash bags out for pickup for the next morning, officials said.
Later Sunday, agents went to Troesch’s home to speak with him. He admitted, prosecutors said, that the bags he’d placed out for trash pickup contained mail that was to be delivered on his route.
Investigators also found four mail items in Troesch’s vehicle, according to a criminal complaint.
On Tuesday, agents inventoried the mail recovered from his home and found 314 items of first-class mail, seven items of certified mail, one item of priority mail and 1,311 pieces of political, or campaign, mail, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
There was one application for a mail-in ballot included.
Special Agent Scott Balfour said the mail confiscated in Baldwin will be sorted and delivered.
Also charged on Wednesday was James McLenigan, 29, of Lawrenceville.
McLenigan was a mail carrier out of the Bloomfield station and delivered mail in parts of Lawrenceville, according to the criminal complaint.
On Oct. 8, an agent with the post office’s inspector general office spoke with an employee at the Persad Center at 5301 Butler St. in Lawrenceville.
The employee reported finding mail in a trash bin outside their office. Security cameras show McLenigan, over the course of several days, delivering mail to the Persad Center and then going to his vehicle to collect items that he then discarded in a can outside the building, officials said.
The mail, intended for homes and businesses in Bloomfield, has been returned to the postal service and delivered to customers.
The mail that was collected from the garbage can was inventoried by agents and showed 75 pieces of first-class mail — including one mail-in ballot request, as well as 25 political advertisements.
On Oct. 8, the affidavit said, agents interviewed McLenigan, who “acknowledged that he had discarded mail intended for delivery into a trash can that day, Oct. 8, 2020, and acknowledged that it was wrong to do so.”
None of the seized mail, prosecutors said, included any mail-in ballots.
Both of the men were suspended without pay.
(c) 2020 The Tribune-Review
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.