|Washington, D.C. February 23, 2004|
Columbia, South Carolina -- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Postal Inspection Service, and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), Office of Inspector General continue to offer a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for introducing threatening letters seeking the repeal of recently enacted federal regulations concerning truck drivers' "hours of service". On January 4, 2004, new federal regulations went into effect mandating more rest and orienting drivers toward a 24 hour work/rest cycle.
On October 15, 2003, a threatening letter was discovered at a United States Postal facility in Greenville, South Carolina. The author(s) of this typewritten letter claimed that he or she was a fleet owner of a tanker company and demanded that the present laws regarding truck driver hours of service regulations remain unchanged. A type written message on the exterior of the envelope indicated "caution RICIN POISON Enclosed in sealed container Do not open without proper protection". Inside the envelope was a small, metal vial which contained ricin, a white, granular, potentially deadly poison. The author(s) of this letter claimed to have the ability to make large quantities of ricin and to use this poison if the new hours of service regulations were not repealed by January 4, 2004. The letter was signed "Fallen Angel".
A second letter, addressed to the White House and processed through a postal facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee on October 17, 2003, contained similar threatening language and was directed at the United States Department of Transportation. This second letter threatened to turn "D.C. into a ghost town" if these new "hours of service" regulations went into effect and was signed "Fallen Angel". The author(s) of this letter claimed that the powder on the letter was ricin. The substance contained in the letter has been identified as containing ricin.
Attached to this release is a photograph of the exterior of the envelope processed by the postal facility in Chattanooga, TN on October 17, 2003, as well as, a photograph of the threat letter contained in that envelope. Additionally, attached is a copy of the reward flyer released on January 7, 2004.
Anyone with information concerning the identity of the individual(s) responsible for authoring these threatening letters is requested to contact the FBI toll free at 1-866-839-6241.