HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — An unsuccessful candidate for local political office in northwestern Indiana man was arrested Thursday on federal charges in connection with a pipe bomb that exploded last month at a post office, U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch II announced.
Eric P. Krieg, 45, of Munster was charged with knowing possession of a destructive device and transporting explosive materials, Kirsch said. A complaint alleges Krieg mailed a package at the East Chicago post office that exploded and that he mailed a suspicious package to another individual on Sept. 29.
Kirsch says search warrants were executed Thursday on Krieg’s residence, place of employment and vehicle.
A postal worker suffered minor injuries in the explosion. The pipe bomb caused no damage to the post office about 20 miles (30 kilometers) southeast of Chicago, Postal Inspector Mary T. Johnson has said.
Lake County election records show Krieg ran unsuccessfully for county surveyor as a Republican in 2012. In a candidate profile published by The (Northwest Indiana) Times at the time, Krieg said he was licensed professional engineer whose political experience including losing two years earlier in the primary election for County Council in the strongly Democratic county.
The Times described him as an outspoken critic of the Lake County Democratic Party and the mayor of neighboring Hammond, Thomas McDermott Jr.
McDermott said last week that the pipe bomb was believed to have been intended for a city contractor. He said a city worker received a bulky package containing threats in a separate incident. McDermott said he had spoken to the FBI about the threats.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Krieg has an attorney.