PORTLAND, OR—A federal grand jury sitting in Portland, Oregon returned an indictment today charging Christopher Lee Carlson, 39, of the Portland-Vancouver area with two criminal offenses. The indictment arises out of an investigation into the mailing of approximately 100 envelopes containing white powder and threatening letters to members of the U.S. Congress and certain members of the news media. The letters were postmarked in Portland, Oregon.
The indictment charges Carlson with one count of mailing a threatening communication to a member of Congress and one count of mailing a letter threatening to use a biological weapon to a U.S. senator. Carlson is presently in custody. It is expected that he will be arraigned in federal court on Monday, March 12, 2012.
Over the past few weeks, the lead investigative agencies, including the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Capitol Police, have recovered more than 100 threatening letters sent to U.S. senators and U.S. representatives. To date, all letters have tested negative for toxic substances.
“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.”
U.S. Postal Inspection Service Inspector in Charge, Bradley Kleinknecht stated, “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is dedicated to safeguarding the U.S. Mail to protect employees, customers, and the American public.”
An indictment is only an allegation of a crime, and every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Under U.S. Department of Justice regulations, no photo will be released. No further information is available at this time.