East Chicago post office bomber sentenced to 29 years in prison

HAMMOND – Eric P. Krieg, age 47, of Munster, Indiana, was sentenced before U.S. District Court Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen upon his guilty plea 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.

According to documents in this case, Krieg was sued for making disparaging statements on his online blog. To settle the lawsuit, Krieg had to pay $45,000 and post an apology on his blog. Krieg retaliated by constructing a pipe bomb and placing it in the mail, addressed to the home of the attorney who represented the individual who had sued Krieg. The bomb detonated prematurely in the East Chicago Post Office injuring a female postal employee.

Krieg also made threats arising from a grudge he had against another individual. He placed a bullet wrapped in tape in the mail addressed to that individual with the message, “The next one will be in the back of your head.”

US Attorney Kirsch said, “I am pleased that Judge Van Bokkelen accepted my sentencing recommendation as set forth in the plea agreement.  For his conduct, Krieg has been severely punished.  Krieg intended to send a message of fear and to harm those with whom he had disagreements.  He failed to do physical harm to his enemies, but not for lack of trying.  And, his conduct resulted in injury to a totally innocent postal worker just trying to do her job.  This should have never happened.  The sentence of 29 years, imposed today, sends a strong and clear message that individuals who engage in this type of conduct – sending bombs through the mail, intending to harm or kill others – will be brought to justice. I am thankful to all the law enforcement officials who participated in this case for their service and hard work, bringing this matter to a final and just resolution.”

“The public has a right to expect the U.S. Mail to be safe, and Mr. Krieg’s actions eroded that trust when he mailed a pipe bomb that exploded and injured an East Chicago Postal employee in September of 2017,” said Inspector in Charge Patricia Armstrong, of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Detroit Division. “The investigative collaboration with our law enforcement partners and our brave, quick-thinking Postal employees ensured Mr. Krieg faced swift justice.”

“This sentence sends a strong message that actions such as Mr. Krieg’s, which endanger the public, will not be tolerated,” said Grant Mendenhall, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Division. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to diligently identify and investigate those who put lives at risk through their violent actions.”

“The ATF takes seriously the illegal manufacturing of destructive devices coupled with serious threats of intimidation,” remarked Special Agent in Charge Tim Jones of the Chicago Field Division of the ATF. “We will continue to work alongside our law enforcement partners to investigate violent threats and protect the community.”

This case resulted 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 was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Chang.