A postal worker is facing a felony charge after federal agents seized dozens of bags of undelivered mail from his Bellmore home, according to federal officials.
Richard Schaaf Jr., 44, of Bellmore, pleaded not guilty Monday to destruction of mail. He appeared in federal court in Central Islip with his lawyer, Joseph Mure of Brooklyn, and was released on his own recognizance.
After the hearing, Mure said Schaaf had been under “a lot of pressure.”
“Basically, they put you on different routes every day and it’s very difficult,” Mure said.
“If he shows up late, if he shows up with extra mail, the postmaster puts him in front of everyone” for criticism, he said. “It’s not easy working for the U.S. government.”
Schaaf’s arrest Monday came nearly a week after agents from the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General raided his home, where they found the bags of undelivered mail in the backyard.
Last Tuesday, the agents went to a property on West Alder Road in Bellmore. At the time, USPS Inspector General spokesman Matt Modafferi said the postal service had received “allegations of mishandled mail” from residents in Levittown and Bethpage.
In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, agents confirmed the property belonged to Schaaf.
Special Agent Eric Sheen said in the complaint that agents found “numerous black plastic garbage bags containing approximately 1,000 pieces of undelivered mail” on the property. Some of the mail was dated as far back as March 2017 and was addressed to residents and businesses in Nassau County, including the area where Schaaf delivered mail, the complaint said.
Schaaf has worked for the postal service since approximately April 2016, the complaint said.
According to the most recent data available from the USPS office of the inspector general, its special agents conducted 1,364 internal mail theft investigations between October 2016 and September 2017. The investigations resulted in 409 arrests and 1,178 administrative actions.