Ontario man charged after claiming to send letters with anthrax, coronavirus to government

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A St. Catharines, Ont., man is facing multiple charges for allegedly sending suspicious letters to several federal and provincial government offices in Ontario over the past year, according to the RCMP.

Police say the investigation began after a staffer at a federal government office in Ottawa opened a letter in April that contained the inscription “You’ve Been Anthraxed” — referring to a deadly bacterial agent.

It was later determined by police specialists the contents of the envelope did not contain the hazardous substance.

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Since then, RCMP say they intercepted other letters of the same type mailed to domestic and foreign government officials including a string of similar mailouts to federal officials back in 2020 that claimed the letters were infected with the coronavirus.

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In May, RCMP say a search of a St. Catharines home turned up more unmailed letters and documents alleging to have contained anthrax.

Joseph Knipfel, 63, is facing a total of 25 charges tied to uttering threats and activities tied to terrorist hoaxes.

Knipfel is expected in St. Catharines court on July 8, 2021.

The investigation is ongoing.


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