A former U.S. Postal Service mail handler in Teterboro on Thursday admitted to stealing more than 15 packages containing marijuana, federal authorities announced.
Akeem Cauthen, 30 of Newark, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in federal court to an information charging him with one count of theft of mail, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced. He was released on $40,000 unsecured bond.
The Northern New Jersey Metro Processing and Distribution Center mail handler looked for parcels from Arizona, California, or Colorado, and smelled, opened or poked holes in the packages searching for marijuana from May to November 2017, Carpentino said.
Cauthen stole the parcels by replacing the original mailing labels with labels containing addresses in Paterson where he later picked them up. Overall, Cauthen obtained approximately $32,000 worth of marijuana, the U.S. district attorney said.
Cauthen is facing up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss of the offense.
Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 24, 2018.
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