Saturday, December 08, 2001

Guns, chemicals sought in Waagner car

By John Nolan
The Associated Press

        Federal authorities searched for possible biological agents, toxins and bomb-making materialsin a stolen car driven by a man suspected of mailing anthrax hoax letters to abortion clinics nationwide, the government said in court documents.

        Agents investigating Clayton Lee Waagner made the disclosure in papers filed Thursday in U.S. District Court to support a request to search the 1999 Mercedes-Benz.

        Mr. Waagner, who was on the FBI's 10 most-wanted list, was captured Wednesday at a suburban Cincinnati copy-printing store after using a rented computer there. He had been moving from city to city after escaping from jail in Illinois 10 months ago.

        The agents said they also were looking for liquid and powdered chemicals, cash, firearms, computers and software, address books and telephone records, police scanners, false identification, shipping receipts, tracking equipment, maps and photographs.

        Federal authorities say Mr. Waagner, 45, has claimed responsibility for sending more than 550 anthrax threat letters to about 280 women's reproductive health clinics in the past two months.

        The clinics received envelopes containing white powder and letters signed, “Army of God.” The powder was not anthrax.

        Mr. Waagner has previously testified that God told him to kill doctors who perform abortions.

        He told a Carrollton, Ga., man that he “admitted responsibility for sending a spate of anthrax hoax letters,” according to the government's filing, which did not identify the Georgia man.

        “Waagner even showed the man Federal Express shipping receipts to validate his claims,” the government said.

        Mr. Waagner had $8,986 cash in his pocket and a loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic Kahr Arms pistol tucked in his waistband when he was arrested, police said. He is jailed without bond.

        The government has charged him with illegally possessing a firearm after having been convicted of three or more violent crimes while a fugitive. .

        He also has been charged with bank robberies in Harrisburg, Pa., and Morgantown, W.Va., federal authorities said.


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