(Reuters) - About 22,500 pieces of undelivered mail are making their way to their intended recipients this week, more than a year after a Philadelphia postal carrier began hoarding them in his home, federal authorities said.
In a case that gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “snail mail,” Patrick D’Ambrosio was accused of stashing the mail in his car and in garbage bags in his garage between May 2014 and January 2015, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.
D’Ambrosio, 48, was charged on Tuesday with obstruction of mail for blocking deliveries, the release said.
If convicted, the federal charge carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison or a fine.
The cache was discovered after a United States Postal Service manager complained that mail in the Philadelphia area was not being delivered.
The Office of the Inspector General recovered the missing mail from D’Ambrosio’s home in January.
Chris Allen, an assistant special agent with IG’s office, said on Wednesday that the office is working with the U.S. Postal Service this week to ensure the mix of letters, magazines and packages are delivered.
D’Ambrosio, who could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday, has been placed on non-duty status by the Postal Service.
His next court date has not been scheduled yet, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia.
Reporting by Katie Reilly; Editing by Lisa Lambert