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**Must Credit OLBERMANN WATCH**
Chad Conrad Castagana sentenced for anthrax hoax on celebrities and politicians
(Los Angeles, CA) - A man convicted of mailing threatening letters laced with white powder to Keith Olbermann, Jon Stewart, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and other high-profile figures, was sentenced Friday to five years probation and remanded to the Gateways Community Corrections Center in Los Angeles, CA where he will receive psychiatric treatment and medication until such time as doctors believe he is longer a threat not to exceed the length of his probation. Chad Conrad Castagana, 40, was arrested in November 2006 and charged with conveying false information and sending threats by the U.S. mail. He was convicted last year and has been ordered not to have contact with the six individuals he targeted.
Last month, U.S. District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ordered that prior to sentencing Castagana be examined by Dr. Saul Faerstein, a Beverly Hills psychiatrist in order to provide the court with a diagnosis of Castagana as well as recommendations on treatment. Based on those recommendations, Castagana was remanded for custody to a yet-as-unidentified community corrections center.
Castagana, of Woodland Hills, CA, admitted to mailing 17 threatening letters including letters to Olbermann (4), Stewart (6), Pelosi (1) as well as Sen. Charles Schumer (1), Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone (1) and David Letterman (1), according to court records. The letters contained a white power, which Castagana told the FBI was whatever household items he had available including baking soda, laundry detergent and AJAX.
According to the 14-count federal indictment handed down by the Grand Jury in October 2006, the first letter was sent on September 9, 2006 intended for Jon Stewart of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” but other court records show the letter, postmarked Santa Clarita, CA, was sent to another man with a New York address with the same name. A second letter was sent to Stewart on September 25, 2006. A letter was sent to Olbermann on September 26th. Another letter was sent to both Stewart, on September 27th, and to Olbermann, on September 29th. A fourth letter was sent to Stewart on October 13, 2006 and a fifth on October 23rd. A letter was sent to Sumner Redstone on October 25th. A sixth letter was sent to Stewart on October 30, 2006. On November 1st , 2006 a letter was sent to Nancy Pelosi. On November 1st, 2006 a third letter was sent to Olbermann. On November 2nd a letter was sent to Letterman. On November 3rd a letter was sent to Schumer. On November 9th a fourth letter was sent to Olbermann. It was this letter that FBI agents observed Castagana mailing. The other three letters were not mentioned in the indictment but other records indicate two may have been intercepted by postal workers when they began to leak powder. Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward is also mentioned in the search warrant for Castagana’s home in Woodland Hills.
One of the letters addressed to Olbermann read “There are too many demagogues in America. All of you are poisoning the well ! Time to give your kind a taste of your own medicine . . .” and inside the envelope was a white powder which when tested was not found to be hazardous. Letters to other recipients referenced Alan Berg, a Denver-based talk show host who was murdered in 1984, and photos of cadavers. Return addresses on the letters included names like Barry White, Jay Leno, and William Shatner.
Members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Los Angeles, made up of FBI agents and local police, arrested Castagana after observing him mailing what turned out to be a letter similar to the ones previously sent to Olbermann, Stewart and others. Investigators were given an initial description of Castagana by a postal worker who noticed him because he was sending mail using antique stamps. They later made a positive identification using a postal money order made out to "Friends of Katherine Harris", a then-candidate for U.S. Senate from the State of Florida. Harris, a former Congresswoman, played a key role in the 2000 presidential election when, as Secretary of State of Florida, she certified the Republican slate of electors thereby giving George W. Bush a narrow victory in the electoral college.
Castagana's letters were eerily familiar to NBC News personnel. In 2001, shortly after 9/11, the offices of NBC News, along with those of other media outlets and political offices were attacked with a weaponized form of anthrax. When the attacks ceased, 22 people contracted either inhalation or cutaneous anthrax and five died from their exposure to anthrax spores distributed via letter sent through the U.S. mail. Postal workers were also exposed and two of them were among the dead. The first anthrax letters were mailed to NBC and the New York Post. The National Enquirer, The Sun and the Senate offices of Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and other New York City news organizations were also targets.
FULL VERSION OF CHARGING DOCUMENTS:
UPDATE: The Smoking Gun got the actual court order which has the name of the facility so I've update the post above. I was trying all day to get without success so they go the document first but I broke the story here.