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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Hamden Man Charged with Mailing Threatening Letters, Some Containing White Powder

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that NICHOLAS SEPESKO, 70, of Hamden, was arrested yesterday on a federal criminal complaint charging him with mailing threatening letters, some of which contained white powder, to an individual.

Following his arrest, Sepesko appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam in New Haven and was released on a $20,000 bond.

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, between October 2018 and November 2020, Sepesko mailed multiple letters to an individual threatening to harm the victim and the victim’s spouse.  None of the letters contained a return address.  The last three letters Sepesko mailed to the victim contained not only threats, but also a white powdery substance.  In the most recent letter, Sepesko wrote that the white powder could be rat poison or Ricin.

The three letters containing the unknown powdery substance lead to physical responses by federal, state and local law enforcement and environmental protection agencies.  It is alleged that laboratory analysis of the substance contained in a letter mailed by Sepesko in early October contained calcium carbonate.  Test results of the substance contained in the other two letters are pending.

The complaint charges Sepesko with mailing threatening communications, and conveying false information and hoax.  Each offense carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, a $250,000 fine, restitution and, with respect to a hoax, repayment of reimbursement for any municipal response.

U.S. Attorney Durham noted that this alleged crime and other like it will be vigorously prosecuted, as hoax letters containing white powder cause emotional distress for recipients and consume valuable time and resources of our first responders.

U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Wallingford Police Department, with the assistance of the Connecticut State Police, Hamden Police Department and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed.

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Updated December 8, 2020