“He was the first person I thought of . . .it was shocking but its not . . . “Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, Jr.
October 12, 2017-United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch, II, says a former Republican candidate for Lake County Surveyor admitted to sending a pipe bomb to an attorney who works for the City of Hammond. Eric Krieg, age 45 of Munster, is charged in a two count indictment with knowing possession of a destructive device and transporting explosive material. Krieg faces ten years in prison on each count, if convicted. The charges stem from an incident which occurred on September 6, 2017 at the US Post Office, 901 E. Chicago Avenue, East Chicago, IN. A female employee of the US Postal service was injured when the pipe bomb went off in the post office and spent several days in the hospital according to officials. Today we learned that employee was seven months pregnant and fearled losing her child as a result of her injuries.
Federal Officials laid out a series of incidents revolving around blog posts as impetus, if not motive, for the events. “Victim1 is an attorney who represented Individual1 in a defamation lawsuit against KRIEG and related to the blog posts” according to the probable cause affidavit. In addition to the pipe bomb which exploded at the East Chicago Post Office, a Hammond City Employee alleged he received a threatening letter with a bullet in it. That employee had written the following in an exchange with Krieg:
USDC IN/ND 2:17-mj-00188-JEM Probable Cause AFF P.12
Federal officials laid out another exchange where the same employee had chided Krieg for losing the defamation suit and suggested he was involved in a “plan” that resulted in the lawsuit:
Krieg ultimately was forced to file bankruptcy and settled the lawsuit for $60,000.00 according to the Probable Cause Affidavit.
Mayor McDermott described Krieg as “sick individual.” “Extremism is bad, it doesn’t matter if you are an extremist on the right or an extremist on the left and this was an extremist” McDermott continued. “Hammond employees were scared to open a package.” McDermott stated that a Hammond Police Department K-9 was used to check packages.
Federal officials laid out their investigation of the matter. According to a Probable Cause Affidavit filed in the case, the package was mailed at 11:19 a.m. on September 6, 2017 at the counter of the East Chicago Post Office. The clerk who received the package did not pick Krieg out of a line-up. A customer in line at the same time was later located and she described the individual as “peculiar.” “Witness1 described the UNUB’s Vehicle as a dark colored crown victoria, with a police light near the side mirror, and with vehicle damage near the gas tank on the driver’s side” according to the Affidavit. The sworn statement continues “On October 2, 2017, investigators met with Witness1 to show her a photograph of [Krieg’s] Vehicle. Witness1 viewed several imagesof the VEHICLE on a laptop but was unable to confirm or deny if that was the vehicle she observed on September 6, 2017. Investigators then had Witness1 observe the vehicle in person. Witness1 observed the vehicle but thought the damage located on the VEHICLE . . .was different . . .Witness1 also believed . . .she had observed a chrome spotlight, however the VEHICLE has a black covered police spotlight.”
Investigators established that Krieg left his place of employment “slightly before 11:19 a.m. on September 6, 2017.” Surveillance footage showed Krieg return to work and enter a building after 11:19 a.m.
The key evidence, investigators say, came from Krieg himself in the form of a confession. According to the Probable Cause Affidavit, Krieg was able to describe the device and its components as well as provide the return addressee that was placed on both envelopes. “This information was not released to the public” the Affidavit concludes.