Joseph Brucato, a New York City postal carrier, is accused of failing to deliver more than 40,000 pieces of mail, some dating to 2005.
According to a federal court complaint, Brucato hoarded the mail at his home, car and post office locker. He was arrested Wednesday after a supervisor noticed undelivered mail piled up in Brucato's personal vehicle.
The 67-year-old Brucato was arraigned Wednesday and released on his own recognizance.
Magistrate Vera Scanlon ordered him to "abstain from excessive alcohol consumption."
Brucato's attorney says his client suffered from depression.
Authorities say about one tonne of U.S. mail postmarked as far back as 2005 was recovered.
Brucato's route included businesses and residences in Brooklyn's Flatbush section.