“Within Individual 3’s Instagram account were numerous conversations involving several Instagram users regarding stolen mail as well as a group conversation discussing stimulus checks issued by the United States Treasury. One participant posted a photo as part of the conversation which depicted approximately 21 stolen US Treasury checks. A review of those checks by law enforcement revealed that 18 of the 21 checks were for recipients in Verona, all with residences located on postal routes covered on a regular basis by Parrish Brookins.” ~ Special Agent Paul Kim, US Postal Service
Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021
This afternoon, New Jersey’s US Attorney's Office announced that Verona’s US Postal Employee Parrish Brookins, of East Orange, was arrested today for stealing mail, including credit cards and US Treasury stimulus checks. Brookins was assigned to deliver mail on Verona postal routes 42, 50, and 51.
According to case documents and statements made in court:
Verona Resident 1
Thursday, Jan. 14
- On the same day that Brookins was delivering mail to their neighborhood, a Verona resident (V#1) was mailed but never received a bank credit card.
Friday, Jan. 15
- Brookins’ cellphone was used to activate the Verona credit card
Wednesday, Jan. 20 to Saturday, Jan. 23
- The newly activated credit card belonging to the Verona resident was used to attempt several purchases, including an attempted $405 purchase from a shoe store.
- All these attempts were declined.
Verona Resident 2
Friday, Feb. 19, to Thursday, Feb. 25
- During the week that Brookins was delivering mail to their neighborhood, a second Verona resident (V#2) did not receive the bank credit card mailed to them.
Friday, Feb. 26
- A cellphone number listed under Brookins’ name was used to attempt to activate the Verona resident’s credit card.
Saturday, Feb. 27
- On Friday and Saturday, the still unactivated card was used in Georgia to make about $4,137 in purchases.
Sunday, Feb. 28
- $3,182 in purchases were declined.
- A second attempt to activate the card was made from Brookins’ cellphone.
Montclair Resident 1
Monday, Mar. 1
- On the same day that Brookins was delivering mail to their neighborhood, a Montclair resident (M#1) did not receive a credit card mailed to them.
Tuesday, Mar. 2
- Brookins’ cellphone was used in an attempt to activate the Montclair credit card.
- The Montclair card was used to attempt to purchase $2,000 of goods from North Jersey retailers.
- All attempts were declined.
Verona Resident 3
Thursday, Mar. 4
- Consistent with the pattern, while Brookins was delivering mail to their neighborhood, another Verona resident (V#3) was mailed but did not receive, a bank credit card.
- That same day, Brookins’ cellphone was used repeatedly to attempt to activate the Verona credit card.
Sunday, Mar. 7
- Brookins attempted to use the Verona credit card to make a $102 purchase from a Brooklyn, NY, retailer.
- The attempt was declined.
Verona Resident 4
Friday, Mar. 12
- Again while Brookins was working, Verona Post Office received a 10:15am Intelligent Mail Barcode data confirmation indicating that a Verona resident (V#4) was mailed but did not receive, a bank credit card.
- On that day, Brookins’ cellphone was used to attempt to activate the card.
Verona Resident 5
Thursday, May 6
- At 2:46pm, Verona Post Office received data confirmation indicating another Verona resident (V#5) was mailed but did not receive, a bank credit card.
Saturday, May 8
- A cellphone number was used to attempt to activate that Verona card.
- The number was listed under another individual’s name.
MONMOUTH COUNTY ARREST
Thursday, July 8
- A third individual involved with this case was arrested after a motor vehicle incident n Monmouth County
Tuesday, July 13
- Using a search warrant, police searched the car and located stolen mail items.
- Inside the car was a credit card issued to a Verona resident who lives on Brookins’ mail route.
- The card still had its activation sticker and appeared not to be activated.
- Police spoke with that Verona resident who stated they were expecting the card but had not received it.
Considering there was a connection to Brookins, US Postal Inspectors obtained a search warrant for the third person’s Instagram account.
The search revealed:
- Brookins and the third person were connected on Instagram and they used it for communicating.
- Other accounts were included and numerous conversations involved stolen mail.
- One group conversation discussed US Treasury stimulus checks.
- A person on that group chat posted a photo showing 21 stolen federal stimulus checks.
- 18 of those checks were issued to Verona residents and all of those homes were on Brookins’ route.
Verona, March 26, 2021
- Verona Post Office compiled data indicating that 16 of those checks had an expected delivery date of March 26 and were all intended for residents on Brookins’ Postal Route 42, on a day he was working.
As part of their investigation, US Postal Service special agents placed a hidden camera inside of Brookins’ mail vehicle. The results of the footage reportedly shows:
Friday, Sept. 17
- Brookins closed the vehicle door and then tampered with six envelopes, marked with the US Treasury, which he placed into his pocket.
Monday, Sept. 20
- After closing the door, Brookins tampered with three US Treasury envelopes and pocketed them.
Parrish Brookins, 29, of East Orange has been charged with the following:
- Mail theft by a Postal Service officer or employee (one count)
The mail theft charge is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.
Along with his Assistant Federal Public Defender, Brookins appeared this afternoon before Newark federal court and was released on a $50,000 bond.
Other recent news Verona news you may have missed:
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- Verona, NJ, 2021 Election Results: School Board, Sheriff, and State Races Detailed by Voting District
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