News & Politics

Former GOP candidate plans to plead to sending a mail pipe bomb that injured a postal worker

The strange and disturbing saga of a failed GOP candidate in Indiana ends with him pleading guilty to explosives charges.

Photo Credit: U.S. Attorney's Office

On Tuesday, the Huffington Post reported that Eric Krieg, a former Republican candidate for the council of Lake County, Indiana, has agreed to a plea bargain in his trial for his attempt last year to mail a pipe bomb to a lawyer who filed a defamation suit against him. The deal reportedly will still send him to prison for 29 years.

The bomb made it as far as a post office in East Chicago, where it exploded prematurely, injuring a postal worker. Krieg, who also mailed a separate person who had mocked him in an online message board a package containing a bullet and a threatening note, was charged last year:

Under the plea agreement, which still must be accepted by a federal judge, Krieg would plead guilty to four counts: making an unregistered destructive device; mailing a destructive device; malicious use of explosive materials; and mailing a threatening communication. The malicious use of explosive materials charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years. 

Krieg acknowledged in his plea agreement that, from 2012 until 2017, he "engaged in a series of online postings and communications" about other residences of northwest Indiana, and that he filed for bankruptcy after an individual filed a lawsuit against him based on statements he made on his blog.

Krieg, who went by the handle "buzzcut," wrote a blog titled "Blue County in a Red State" that purported to discuss life "in the most corrupt county in America: Lake County, Indiana." He wrote in his plea deal that he had to pay the attorney’s client $45,000 and apologize online for defamatory statements he'd made on his blog.

The conclusion of Krieg's case comes just weeks after Cesar Sayoc, a Florida Trump supporter, mailed a series of pipe bombs to Democratic officials across the country, including former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

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Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter @fawfulfan.