Essex County postal employee admits mail theft


Date: April 4, 2023


Newark, NJ — An Essex County man today admitted stealing credit cards and checks from the mail while employed as a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier, Attorney for the United States Vikas Khanna announced.

Parrish Brookins of East Orange, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to an information charging him with one count of mail theft by a U.S. Postal Service officer or employee.

According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From January 2021 to September 2021, Brookins was employed as a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier with delivery routes in Montclair and Verona, New Jersey. Certain credit cards addressed to third-party victims and mailed to addresses in Verona and Montclair were stolen on numerous dates from routes worked by Brookins. These credit cards subsequently were activated and used to make and attempt to make fraudulent purchases in New Jersey and elsewhere. Numerous stimulus checks issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury also addressed to third-party victims and mailed to addresses in Verona covered by Brookins were also stolen along these same postal routes.

Brookins admitted in court that he had stolen numerous items of mail containing credit cards addressed to individuals living at residences on his postal delivery routes, activated some of these cards and attempted to make purchases with them. He admitted that he provided some of the stolen cards to other individuals in exchange for a fee. Brookins admitted stealing more than a dozen stimulus checks in March of 2021, which were being mailed to recipients along his postal delivery routes, and to providing these checks to other individuals for a fee, knowing that these checks would be fraudulently negotiated by others.

The mail theft charge is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 15, 2023.

Attorney for the United States Khanna credited special agents with the U.S. Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modafferi, Northeast Area Field Office, and postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Newark, under the direction of Inspector Christopher A. Nielsen, Philadelphia Division, with the investigation leading to today's guilty plea. He also thanked IRS - Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Tammy L. Tomlins, for its assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. McCarren of the Office's Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.