WASHINGTON — A California man suspected of mailing threatening letters containing a suspicious white powder to celebrities and U.S. politicians has been arrested and could face federal charges on Monday, the FBI said.
Investigators identified Chad Castagana, 39, of Woodland Hills, California, as the person suspected of sending more than a dozen threatening letters to media outlets and the homes of public figures in various cities, the FBI said in a statement on Sunday evening.
According to a federal search warrant, among those who received threatening letters were Jon Stewart of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show;” talk show host David Letterman; Keith Olbermann of MSNBC; Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, who is set to become Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, both Democrats.
The document, filed on Friday in United States District Court in Los Angeles, said multiple people in various cities, including New York and San Francisco, received letters over the past three months that contained an unknown white powder and various written threats.
In some cases, the threatening letters included expressions such as “Death to Demagogues” and references to Alan Berg, a Jewish talk radio host murdered by white supremacists in Denver in 1984, the document said.
Tests determined that the white powder sent in the letters was nonhazardous, the statement said.
Castagana was arrested on Saturday at his home and was expected to make an initial appearance in federal court on Monday, the statement said.
In 2001, powdery Anthrax spores sent in letters to news organizations and government offices in Florida, Washington and elsewhere killed five people and made at least 17 people ill. Those case have not been solved.
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