TRENTON, N.J. – A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) carrier will make his initial appearance today on charges that he stole from the mail prescription drugs issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Christopher F. Donohue, 60, of Leonardo, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with theft of mail containing prescription drugs. Donohue is expected to make his initial appearance by video conference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zahid N. Quraishi in Trenton.
According to the complaint and statements made in court:
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Donohue was employed as a mail carrier at the USPS Post Office in Belford, New Jersey. On March 2, 2020, Donohue stole an envelope containing prescription medication that was destined for delivery to a military veteran. This theft was consistent with a series of other mail packages containing prescription medication issued by the VA, which had gone missing from the Belford Post Office without reaching their intended recipients. On May 6, 2020, Donohue attempted to steal another package from the Belford Post Office, which law enforcement had outfitted with a prescription bottle and inert pills as part of the investigation. Donohue was arrested and law enforcement recovered the pill bottle and envelope from him incidental to his arrest.
The charge of theft of mail by postal employee carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, Eastern Area Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew M. Modafferi; the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher F. Algieri; and the Middletown Township Police Department under the direction of Chief Craig Weber with the investigation leading to today’s charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle S. Gasparian of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.