Political candidate. A blogger who holds a grudge. A bombing suspect. All of the above illustrate Eric Krieg, from Munster.
A year after being arrested and accused of sending a device that caused an explosion at the East Chicago postal facility, Krieg gave another label: guilty.
Krieg, 46, from Munster pleaded guilty to consciously making unregistered destroyers, sending damaging devices, using dangerous explosives, and sending threatening communications, according to a news release from US Attorney Thomas Kirsch on Tuesday.
The parties agreed to a 29-year prison sentence and a defense hearing will be held before US District Court Senior Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen at Hammond Federal Courthouse, according to a press release.
The explosion took place on September 6, 2017, at the East Chicago postal facility and Krieg was arrested in October 2017 and has remained detained since.
A blogger who holds a grudge
In his application agreement, Krieg said he ran a blog and was involved in "a series of posts and online communication about other residents in Northwest Indiana," where revenge triggered his decision to make and send the explosives.
Kreig, who has run for Lake County offices in the past, posted a political blog with the nickname "Buzzcut."
Krieg said the first victim was a Schererville lawyer who represented the client who had filed a lawsuit against him. Krieg was sued in 2013 because a statement he made on his blog about Aaron McDermott, brother of Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., was arrested.
Krieg filed for bankruptcy in response to the lawsuit, but lawyer Aaron McDermott, David Westland, said the lawsuit could not be released with bankruptcy and Krieg agreed to settle the lawsuit by paying McDermott $ 45,000 and posting an apology on his blog.
"In retaliation for the submission and settlement of this lawsuit and other grudges that I hold, I devised a plan to build and send a pipe bomb that I expected and believed would kill or injure Victim 1," said the Krieg application agreement. "I built this pipe bomb and knew that it contained explosives and items that would produce shrapnel. A pipe bomb was built in the Northern District of Indiana. The pipe bomb was not registered in the Firearms Registration and National Transfer Records. "
However, the bomb exploded at the East Chicago post office and injured a pregnant woman.
"On September 6, 2017, I placed a pipe bomb in the post by sending it to the United States Post Office, 901 East Chicago Avenue, East Chicago, Indiana and making sure it had the right shipping costs," said the Krieg apology agreement. "I sent a pipe bomb with the intention that it killed or injured the victim 1. I realized the pipe bomb exploded before it was sent to Victim 1 and instead wounded Victim 2, a postal worker. I damaged the Post Office where the pipe bomb exploded. Post Offices are used in inter-state trade or used in activities that affect inter-state trade. "
Others, who were labeled "Victims 3" in the defense agreement, were targeted because Krieg stated he was annoyed and held a grudge against the residents of Northwest Indiana that he involved online.
According to the US attorney's office, Krieg was accused of sending a threat letter received September 29, 2017, by city workers Hammond, containing bullets and notes saying, "The next one will be behind your head."
"On September 29, 2017, I sent a threat to kill or injure Victim 3," said the Krieg application agreement. "I put this threatening communication in a letter in the Northern Indiana District and it was marked with a sign, and now I am aware then it was submitted to, Victim 3 in the Northern District of Indiana."
Critics of handling Lake County drainage projects against surveyors and opposing Mayor Hammond's campaign spending have become one of the political disputes that have been the center of Krieg for years.
In 2012, Krieg denounced the head with George Van Til for the position of Lake County surveyors as Republican candidates and also ran for the County Council several times.
Kreig is also a former BP Whiting Refinery engineer and father of four, according to The Times archive.
In December 2017, Krieg pleaded not guilty to making and sending explosive devices and threat notes.
In April 2018, he requested a delay for the federal trial, in which he was originally planned to try at the end of May.
US District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen agreed to give Krieg and his defense attorney, Kevin Milner, a few months to prepare for the jury trial, which was scheduled to begin on 5 November.
Assistant US Attorney Jennifer Chang opposed the defense request as an unreasonable delay, arguing that the injured postal worker was pregnant at the time and had suffered emotional and physical stress.
Chang also argued that the person intended by Krieg as the target of the bomb had also been through stressful months and the victim's family had planned their schedule around the original May trial and wanted the trial to proceed quickly.
In October, the US attorney's office announced that the jury trial had been rearranged for June 2019. Krieg requested in federal court that the trial be postponed again to give his lawyer time.
According to the US attorney's office, Krieg's defense hearing will occur "in the near future."
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