NEWARK – A postal worker from Jersey City pleaded guilty Monday to stealing 15 to 20 cell phones passing through the post office where she worked.

Federal prosecutors said Nyasia Hutchinson, 26, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to one count of theft of mail by a postal employee. That charge carries a potential penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Hutchinson was a postal service clerk at the Elizabeth Post Office when, between May and December 2018, another employee provided her with stolen cellphones the employee had taken out of packages mailed to a business in Hillside, according to court documents and statements made in court.

Hutchinson admitted that she taped up empty packages and placed them back in the mail stream after cellphones had been removed. She later sold the stolen iPhones which had a total approximate value of $12,000.

Hutchinson is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 31, 2023.

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Michael Symons is the Statehouse bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at michael.symons@townsquaremedia.com

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