NEWARK, N.J. — A former postal service worker has admitted stealing several packages containing marijuana that passed through the mail processing center where he worked.
Akeem Cauthen pleaded guilty Thursday to theft of mail. The 30-year-old Newark man faces up to five years in prison when he's sentenced Oct. 24.
Cauthen was a mail handler at the Northern New Jersey Metro Processing and Distribution Center in Teterboro. Federal prosecutors say that from May to November last year, Cauthen sought parcels from Arizona, California or Colorado and then smelled, opened or poked holes in the packages to search for marijuana.
Upon finding the drug, Cauthen replaced the packages' original mailing labels with labels containing addresses in Paterson where he later picked them up. Authorities say Cauthen obtained about $32,000 worth of marijuana.