Mail Security Alert, Jul 2021: Threats, Intimidation & Federal Drug Smuggling

Mail Security Alert 2021-07 Jul 3x2.

Although July slowed down overall falling 30 percent in total from June the severity of the incidents remained significant.

White powder continued as a main method of attack in both the United States and international events. 

Many of the other events in July required federal or state level responses and included death threats, intimidation, federal level drug smuggling and other criminal activities.

Threatening mail continued to rise this month continuing the trend and targets with government leadership being the primary target.

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United States Mail Security Incidents

Drugs and racially-motivated threatening letters sent through the mail increased substantially in July.

Hate mail and death threats remained a constant this month in the United States events. Political leaders continue to take the brunt of the events with a few new incidents targeting the general public this month. White powder events began this month to target locations that have an economic impact when shut down. Much like pulling the fire alarm, the response to these has become standardized and success for the perpetrator might just be an evacuation. 

These events are increasing in government facilities like courthouses, housing authorities and even the department of motor vehicles. Significant drug events continued this month with a noted increase in the amount of illicit money captured. Most likely tied to the police better understanding and identifying the individuals selling illicit materials. 

Jul 14, 2021

She received a box in Amazon packaging at her office approximately a week before she was fired, husband Brad Fiscus told The Tennessean on Wednesday.

In the box was a black dog muzzle, he said. After opening the box, Brad Fiscus said his wife called him and he urged her to reach out to Homeland Security to investigate the sender.

“A friend dropped it back by the house. She wanted it as a souvenir,” he said. “She said, ‘whoever sent that must not know me very well. That’s for a beagle, but I’m a pit bull.'” Michelle Fiscus is “taking it in stride” and continuing to “speak truth” even after receiving the muzzle, he said.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security is investigating “an incident” involving Michelle Fiscus and a muzzle, spokesperson Wes Moster confirmed in an email.

Jul 9, 2021

Philadelphia police Thursday night said they had identified a 79-year-old woman as a person of interest in sending a letter threatening to shoot residents of Cambodian descent because of fireworks being set off at a South Philadelphia park.

In the one-page letter sent to the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia, the author claimed to have served as a Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan and was having trouble sleeping because residents of Cambodian descent were igniting fireworks at Mifflin Square Park. The writer claimed to own several guns.

The letter, which police described as typed, states: “I want to take a gun and go down there and kill these individuals. … I am writing you to let you know when I do freak out and try to kill these people that it is your fault for not going to them and encouraging them (it is in their best interest) to stop doing this and remain alive!”

Jul 7, 2021

A Washington County Detention Center inmate is charged with making a threat in the name of another inmate to “bomb” the county’s judges, according to district court records.

Michael Eugene Neil Jr., 31, was charged by summons Monday with threatening mass violence and threatening arson, court records said. He was still listed as an inmate at the detention center Tuesday afternoon.

A circuit court employee received and opened a letter written on notebook paper and addressed to “Clerk of Courts” on June 25 that said, “I am going to bomb every Judge in Washington Co. Court house if I don’t get left out of jail by July 4th.”

The letter was sent in the name of another inmate, whose name was written sloppily and appeared to be initially misspelled and corrected, court records said.

A Washington County Sheriff’s Office detective noticed a distinctive way the letters g and e were the only ones in the note that were written in cursive. A check of samples of writing by the other inmate showed no similarities to the letter, court records said.

Jul 27, 2021

Several suspicious parcels of U.S. Priority Mail that drew the attention of a police dog were found to contain a total of $57,000 in suspected drug-trafficking money.

Affidavits from a postal inspector accompanying the warrants stated that suspicious characteristics of packages containing narcotics and trafficking-related items such as cash include: being sent by Priority Express or Priority Mail; having handwritten, non-typed address labels; having an invalid return address, sometimes even an invalid recipient address; and having the signature requirement waived.

“It is my experience that when these factors are observed, the alert of a trained canine on the package will follow,” wrote the inspector.

The five packages deemed suspicious on July 20 had some or all of the factors cited, and a specially trained Chesterfield County Police Department dog, Max, alerted on them that same day.

Jul 28, 2021

A building was evacuated at Chevron’s El Segundo, California oil refinery site after the release of an unidentified “white powder” substance from a package delivered to the facility, a filing with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said.

Chevron Corp CVX.N, which operates the 269,000 barrel-per-day El Segundo refinery, could not immediately be reached for further details.

The employee who opened the package will be provided medical attention for exposure and local hazmat officials are responding, the filing said, quoting a filing with the U.S. National Response Center.

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International Mail Security Incidents

Government targets and individual leaders of political parties saw a significant increase this month.

International events for July continued on-trend with governments and political leaders receiving the majority of the threats. Interestingly the trend of smuggled contraband items and drugs fell off this month. 

Most likely associated with the opening of borders and reduction of social controls these numbers will most likely continue to drop. Expect drugs in the mail to increase however if the governments increase restrictions due to new strains of the coronavirus. The turn has already started in the United States as drug numbers in the mail are increasing due to the delta variant.

Jul 6, 2021

“Slight damage to the roof of one of the sheds, which is being repaired and replaced,” Rabiei stated.

He added the aerial photo published by some media outlets of the damage to the site is in fact an image that is being taken after the roof was removed for repair, and “the interpretations made in the media are not accurate.”

Officials stated on June 23 that due to precautions, the parcel bomb was intercepted before it caused any damage to the building.

It was after this sabotage act that Iran decided to increase the level of its nuclear enrichment to more than 60 percent.

Jul 8, 2021

An art exhibit in Japan featuring the ‘Statue of Peace,’ symbolizing victims of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery, has been indefinitely closed after a package holding explosive material was delivered to the city-run gallery where it was on display.

According to Japan’s Kyodo News on Thursday, the suspicious package burst earlier in the day after an employee at the Sakae Municipal Gallery in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, tried to open it. It was believed to have held fireworks.

While there were no casualties, organizers decided to halt the exhibit over safety concerns.

The exhibit titled “After ‘Freedom of Expression?’,” which was scheduled to run through Sunday, had also been forced to close in 2019 when it first opened at the Aichi Triennale that year. The statue – depicting a young girl sitting in a chair with a small bird on her left shoulder – had prompted threats and objections over several days.

The exhibit is also unlikely to open in Osaka later this month as scheduled as a prefecture-sponsored facility revoked permission for organizers to use it as a venue.

Jul 9, 2021

Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Alappuzha, PP Chitharanjan, has received a death threat by mail at his official address in Thiruvananthapuram. The letter, circulated on several media outlets, says that his right leg and left hand will be cut off and placed before the Alappuzha Municipality if he does not stop his “goon work.” The letter also contains threats against the Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA’s family and says, “Your wife, children, father and mother will also be poisoned to death.”

Only days ago, Congress leader and MLA of Kottayam, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, received a similar death threat by mail. He was also asked to leave the state and told that he and his family will be killed otherwise. Thiruvanchoor had given a complaint as well, and a police probe was launched. He mentioned later that the state should find out if the convicts behind the murder of Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader TP Chandrasekharan were involved.

Jul 7, 2021

Officers were called to the mail depot on Thursday afternoon after postal workers were concerned about a ‘particularly smelly’ delivery.

A brick of cannabis wrapped in a sock was uncovered by officers.

The package was addressed to a Fareham property, and the intended recipient was ‘spoken to and given words of advice’, according to a spokesman from Hampshire Constabulary.

He added that officers believe the package was ordered online as the label was prepaid and printed for Royal Mail Click and Drop. He said: ‘When packages are flagged by Royal Mail or UKBA as suspicious, the package can be opened to ensure illegal or illicit items are recovered and appropriately disposed of.

‘Packages without suspicion or intercepted based on Intelligence, can only be opened under a RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) authority or by court-issued warrant.’

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