A man was arrested and charged on Friday in connection with about 100 envelopes containing threatening letters and a suspicious powdery substance mailed from Oregon to members of Congress and the news media, authorities said.
A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment charging Christopher Lee Carlson, 39, of the Portland area, 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 was arrested at his home on Friday morning, the U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement after an investigation it conducted with the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
All the envelopes examined so far , which were postmarked in Portland and contained an unidentified white powder , have tested negative for any toxic substances, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Portland said in a statement announcing the indictment.
But both letters cited in the indictment, one sent to House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, and the other to Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat from Maryland, contained threats to the lawmakers.
The letter to Mikulski, addressed to her Baltimore office, "indicated that it may contain a lethal pathogen to which the recipient may have been exposed," the indictment said.
"Threatening letters - whether hoax or real - are serious concerns that federal law enforcement agencies will aggressively pursue," Greg Fowler, special agent in charge of the FBI office in Oregon, said in a statement.
Neither the indictment nor the press release accompanying it made any mention of a possible motive for the mass mailings of menacing letters.
The federal prosecutor's statement said Carlson was expected to be arraigned in U.S. District Court on Monday.
The threatening letters began showing up on Capitol Hill and in the state offices of lawmakers on Feb. 22. A number of media organizations and television shows, including The New York Times, National Public Radio and "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," also received such mail.
A law enforcement source at the time said the sender warned that letters had been sent to the Washington or local offices of all 100 U.S. senators and that 10 contained a deadly pathogen.
In 2001, in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, deadly anthrax-laced letters were sent to several news organizations and Senate offices.
Five people were killed and 17 sickened by those letters, which federal investigators said were ultimately traced to a U.S. Army scientist who committed suicide in 2008.
Ambitious scheme comes amid fears for country's oil production as militants attack infrastructure in Niger Delta
'Based on current assessment, cancelling or changing the location of the 2016 Olympics will not significantly alter the international spread of Zika virus,' the WHO says
The convention this year honors the holy Quran, and speakers address everyday challenges facing US Muslims
'Common religion and mutual sympathy unite our peoples and help us overcome difficulties,' says Russia's president
In the third attack in 72 hours, militants bomb another gas pipeline in the volatile delta region
Abdel-Fattah Sharif was killed two months ago by Israeli soldier despite being unarmed and injured at the time
Residents fleeing Fallujah suffer from ISIL and from random shelling by Iraqi warplanes
After closure of Idomeni camp, new sites lack sufficient food, water, toilets, showers, and power, says UN spokesperson
Early Saturday morning armed groups attacked the Nembe pipeline carrying crude exports.
Tribal chief says al-Hashd al-Shaabi blew up two mosques and looted dozens of homes in al-Karma city
Mobile game designed to raise awareness of Gaza attack overcomes challenges by Apple over political content
The World Health Organization (WHO) has rejected a call to move or postpone this summer's Rio Olympic Games over the Zika outbreak.
Donald Trump has hit back at Trump after he said that he would "cancel" the Paris climate deal in his first major speech on energy policy.
45 bodies found after major sea accident involving refugees travelling to Europe
'Close cooperation between Russia, the US and EU to end the war in Syria is exceptionally important,' says Greek president
Minh Quang Pham has been sentenced after pleading guilty in January to charges he provided material support to Al Qaeda.