Anthrax tip from hoaxer’s wife led to arrest

A Vancouver, Wash., man who allegedly sent letters containing a white powder to Congress members came under FBI scrutiny after his wife told an officer he laced the envelopes with corn starch and celery salt.

Christopher Lee Carlson was focused on after a Vancouver police officer told the FBI about a March 4 interview he had with Carlson’s wife about the recent turmoil Carlson was going through. A federal grand jury indicted Carlson on March 9 on charges that he mailed threatening letters to Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, Associated Press reports.

The counts arose after an investigation into 100 envelopes that were mailed containing white powder. The letters, which were postmarked in Portland, Ore., have tested negative for toxic substances.

“Adrienne (Carlson) told me that a few months ago, Chris had talked about sending letters to members of the Senate and the media to express his frustration with certain things,” Leah Supriano, a Vancouver police officer, said, according to Associated Press. “About two weeks ago, they were driving in Portland … and when they passed a post office somewhere off Stark (Street), he pointed at the post office and told her that he was worried and wondered if they had surveillance cameras.”

When Adrienne Carlson asked her husband if he sent the letters, Christopher Carlson acknowledged that he had. Adrienne Carlson said her husband planned to send a second round of letters that would contain the highly corrosive chemical lye.

Christopher Carlson is expected to be arraigned this week.

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