Munster Man Enters Guilty Plea In Connection With September 2017 Explosion at East Chicago Post Office and Subsequent
HAMMOND –Eric P. Krieg, age 46, of Munster, Indiana, plead guilty to knowingly making an unregistered destructive device, mailing a destructive device, malicious use of explosive materials, and mailing a threatening communication, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch.
U.S. Attorney Kirsch said, “Mr. Krieg’s guilty plea is a reflection of the outstanding work by our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners in solving this horrific crime. Mr. Krieg’s egregious, retaliatory conduct put several lives at risk. Under the terms of his plea agreement he will be punished severely. Criminal conduct like Mr. Krieg’s will never be tolerated.”
This case stems from the September 6, 2017 U.S. Postal Service facility explosion in East Chicago and the mailing of a suspicious package on September 29, 2017. In October 2017, Krieg was arrested and charged. He has been in custody since his arrest.
In the plea agreement, the parties agree that Krieg should serve a sentence of 29 years.
According to the plea agreement filed today, Krieg is prepared to admit the following facts:
From 2012 through August 2017, I engaged in a series of online postings and communications concerning other residents of Northwest Indiana. Through these online postings and communications, I made statements in multiple online forums, including a webpage ‘blog’ format that I controlled and administered.
Victim 1 was an attorney who represented an individual in a lawsuit against me. This lawsuit was filed in the Lake County, Indiana Superior Court in 2013 based upon statements I made on my blog. After the filing of the lawsuit, I filed bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Indiana. Through filings made in the Bankruptcy Court, Victim 1 claimed the lawsuit could not be discharged in bankruptcy. I agreed to settle the lawsuit with Victim 1’s client. The settlement required me to pay Victim 1’s client $45,000 and post an apology on my blog. I paid $45,000 and made an online apology.
In retaliation for the filing and settling of this lawsuit and other grudges I held, I devised a plan to construct and mail a pipe bomb that I hoped and believed would kill or injure Victim 1. I constructed this pipe bomb and knew that it contained explosives and items that would produce shrapnel. The pipe bomb was constructed in the Northern District of Indiana. The pipe bomb was not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.
On September 6, 2017, I placed the pipe bomb in the mail by delivering it to the United States Post Office, 901 East Chicago Avenue, East Chicago, Indiana and ensuring it had the appropriate postage. I mailed the pipe bomb with the intention that it kill or injure Victim 1. I am aware the pipe bomb exploded before it was delivered to Victim 1 and instead injured Victim 2, a postal worker. I damaged the Post Office where the pipe bomb exploded. At the time of the explosion, the Post Office was used in interstate commerce or was used in an activity affecting interstate commerce.
I engaged in online communications with Victim 3. Victim 3 was a resident of Northwest Indiana. I was upset with, and held grudges against, both Victim 1 and Victim 3. On September 29, 2017, I mailed a threat to kill or injure Victim 3. I placed this threatening communication in the mail in the Northern District of Indiana and it was post marked to, and I am now aware later delivered to, Victim 3 in the Northern District of Indiana.
This case results from an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives; United States Marshal’s Service; East Chicago Police; Hammond Police; Indiana State Police; Munster Police; and Porter County Sheriff’s Department. This case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Joshua P. Kolar and Jennifer Chang.
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