Former postal worker pleads guilty to dumping 15K pieces of mail in sewer

WASHINGTON — A former U.S. postal carrier pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges that he dumped more than 15,000 pieces of mail in a storm drain more than a year ago.

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On Wednesday, 22-year-old Christopher Newton pleaded guilty to federal charges of obstruction of mail. The charge carries a maximum of six months in prison and potential financial penalties.

On May 16, 2016, WJLA-TV notified the Postal Service that a mail had been found in a catch basin in an area serviced by the River Terrace Post Office. Managers went to the intersection of Douglas Street and Anacostia Avenue NE, where they found 74 pieces of mail protruding from the catch basin, according to information from the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia.

Investigators returned to the intersection the next day, removed a manhole cover and found 17 large trash bags of mail — and estimated 15,000 pieces, the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia said.

The mail was soggy and unsalvageable because of sewer contamination, officials said.

Newton worked on the route where the mail was found, and when a supervisor approached Newton, he immediately quit. In his guilty plea, Newton admitted that he alone dumped the mail.

Newton, who worked as a mail carrier from December 2015 until May 16, 2016, is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 6, 2017.

Hugh Garbrick

Hugh graduated from the University of Maryland’s journalism college in 2020. While studying, he interned at the Queen Anne & Magnolia News, a local paper in Seattle, and reported for the school’s Capital News Service. Hugh is a lifelong MoCo resident, and has listened to the local radio quite a bit.

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