Wash. man accused in Congress threats enters plea

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A Vancouver, Wash., man accused of sending threatening letters containing white powder to members of Congress has pleaded not guilty to federal charges.

The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/R8o24H) that U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis Hubel set a June trial date for 39-year-old Christopher Lee Carlson. A hearing to determine whether Carlson should remain in custody was set for April 5.

A federal grand jury in Portland indicted Carlson earlier this month on charges that he mailed threatening letters to Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.

The two counts arose from an investigation into the mailing of about 100 envelopes containing white powder. The U.S. attorney's office in Portland said the letters, postmarked in Portland, have tested negative for toxic substances.

The letters came to light in late February.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com