Dexter postal worker admits stealing prescriptions from mail

Authorities say a postal worker has admitted stealing prescription drugs out of the mail in northern New York.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Syracuse says 38-year-old Phillip Wiley of Dexter pleaded guilty to stealing the drugs, mostly hydrocodone, and said he had a drug problem. He was working at the Watertown post office when he stole 55 packages or envelopes from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs starting in 2009.

The postal service and veteran's affairs department began investigating in 2010 after getting complaints from customers who didn't receive medications.

The felony carries a penalty of up to five years in prison plus a fine up to $250,000. Wiley is scheduled to be sentenced March 6.