Vancouver man accused of sending threats to Congress appears in court

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

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A Vancouver man made an appearance Wednesday, March 28, in U.S. District Court in Portland to face charges accusing him of sending threatening letters to congressional members.

A federal grand jury indicted Christopher Lee Carlson, 39, on charges of sending a threatening letter to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and another letter that “indicated it may contain a lethal pathogen” to Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. Prosecutors allege the letters, sent last month, also included false or misleading information, according to court documents.

The Oregonian has reported the letters contained a white powder.

Carlson pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the charges before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis Hubel. A tentative trial date was set for June 5.

Carlson will have a hearing April 5 to determine whether he should stay in federal custody.