United States Attorney Joe Kelly announced that Craig Niedbalski, age 61, was sentenced on January 22, 2020, in federal court in Omaha, Nebraska, for Transporting an Explosive with Intent to Injure and Interstate Stalking.
United States District Court Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr., sentenced Niedbalski to 50 months’ imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. After completing his term of imprisonment, Niedbalski will begin a three-year term of supervised release.
Niedbalski, met his victim, G.J., at a Catholics single club in Omaha in about 1986. G.J. and Niedbalski knew each other because of their membership in the club. Beginning in the mid-1990s, Niedbalski began sending unwanted letters and post cards to G.J. The letters and postcards were threatening and contained sexually explicit statements involving G.J. and her family. The letters and postcards were generally hand written or produced using a typewriter. From about 1996 to September of 2018, Niedbalski sent G.J. more than 100 threatening and unwanted letters and postcards. G.J. reported the conduct to the police
On July 23, 2003, Niedbalski sent a package in the mail to G.J. containing an object appearing to be a pipe bomb. On August 31, 2018, Niedbalski sent G.J. a package in the mail containing an incomplete improvised explosive device (“IED”). The IED consisted of a mobile phone connected by tape and wire to a galvanized steel pipe nipple, with galvanized steel endcaps, and a pyrotechnic mixture of gray powder and other materials, which, when properly confined and ignited, may explode. On the outside of the package was written, “CALL 402 680 [XXXX] FOR OPENING INSTRUCTIONS.”
During the 20 years of stalking, G.J. became involved in various civil lawsuits with Niedbalski to try and get him to stop stalking her. G.J. also had protective orders placed against Niedbalski. However, Niedbalski still refused to admit that he was sending the letters and postcards in the mail. The United States Postal Inspection Service was finally able to prove that Neidbalski was stalking G.J. when he sent the IED on August 31, 2018. The Postal Inspection Service forensically confirmed that the postage label on the envelope containing the IED matched images of postage labels that Niedbalski had saved in his digital devices. Niedbalski used a postage label that he had previously received in the mail, he digitally altered it, and he then placed the altered postage label on the envelope containing the IED. Despite Niedbalski’s attempt to alter the postage label, Postal Inspection Service was able to confirm that the postage label on the IED mailing matched the images saved on Niedbalski’s devices.
United States Attorney Joe Kelly recognized the excellent work and efforts of the United States Postal Inspection Service for solving this escalating, 20-plus-year course of conduct terrorizing the victim. USA Kelly added, “The district court’s sentence, which was above the advisory guidelines, should be a warning to those who stalk and terrorize others.”