Connecticut resident Gary Gravelle, 51, has been indicted for sending threatening letters and a powdery substance he claimed was a biotoxin to President Trump and others, according to Reuters. Gravelle was indicted on 16 counts, including threatening the president. He could face up to 140 years in prison if convicted.
In September 2018, Gravelle sent Trump an envelope filled with white powder and a handwritten message that read “You Die.” The powder turned out to be harmless.
But it doesn’t seem likely that Gravelle was a left wing extremist. He also sent threats and powder to a synagogue, a mosque, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Gravelle has also made bomb threats via phone and email to locations in Vermont, Washington, and Connecticut. These targets include government buildings and a mental health facility.
This isn’t the first time Gravelle has been in trouble for making threats. In 2013, he was sentenced for sending threatening communications and was released under federal supervision.
Gravelle is part of a seemingly growing wave of extremists who have lashed out violently at political targets. Last month, a Rhode Island man was arrested for threatening to kill and eat a professor who had supported reproductive rights. Earlier in April, a man was arrested for threatening to kill U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, a target of constant right wing vitriol. And in March, Cesar Sayoc pleaded guilty to sending over a dozen pipe bombs to liberal targets last year, including George Soros and Hillary Clinton. He was living in a van covered in pro-Trump stickers when he sent the bombs.
Last week, the FBI testified to Congress that it is currently looking into 850 cases of domestic terrorism. White supremacists and anti-government extremists are among the most common types of domestic terrorists under investigation.
FBI Assistant Director Michael McGarrity told Congress that the threat of domestic terror is growing.
“In fact, there have been more arrests and deaths in the United States caused by domestic terrorists than international terrorists in recent years,” McGarrity said.