Local man indicted in threatening-letters case

By Paul Suarez, Columbian freelance

Published:

 

A federal grand jury in Portland on Friday indicted a sometime Vancouver resident for allegedly mailing about 100 envelopes containing a white powder and threatening letters to House Speaker John Boehner and other American leaders.

After sifting through the many letters, all postmarked in Portland, officers filed two charges against Christopher Lee Carlson, 39, according to court papers and a bulletin from Gerri Badden with the U.S. Department of Justice.

One charge is allegedly mailing a threat to harm Boehner.

The second is allegedly mailing a letter to U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., in Baltimore, claiming the letter contained a lethal pathogen, and she might be exposed, the court papers said.

Carlson is in custody and, so far, all letters tested did not contain toxic substances, the bulletin said.

He is to be arraigned Monday and prosecutors are showing their teeth.

“Anyone who sends threatening letters to government officials should expect to be found, arrested, and prosecuted,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon S. Amanda Marshall.

“Threatening letters — whether hoax or real — are serious concerns that federal law enforcement agencies will aggressively pursue,” said Greg Fowler, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. “We want to thank our partners at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Capitol Police, who worked with us day-in and day-out for the past two weeks to bring this case to this resolution.”