Man accused of sending threatening letters to U.S. presidential candidates

Presidential candidates Donald Trump, left, and Hillary Clinton are among those alleged to have received threatening letters from John Milton Nagel, according to a criminal complaint filed by an FBI special agent.
Presidential candidates Donald Trump, left, and Hillary Clinton are among those alleged to have received threatening letters from John Milton Nagel, according to a criminal complaint filed by an FBI special agent.

The man drew the suspicion of the postal inspector at the main post office in Mexico City when the inspector noticed white powder coming out of the letters the man held in his hands.

The Mexican postal inspector refused to take the man’s letters. Eventually Mexican authorities had the man arrested and turned over to the FBI.

John Milton Nagel, 46, is now in custody in Miami awaiting trial in federal court. He is accused of mailing threatening letters from a foreign country.

Nagel’s letters were addressed to several U.S. personalities and officials, including Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Sen. John McCain, as well as presidential candidates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush; and cable TV hosts Bill O’Reilly of Fox News and Anderson Cooper of CNN, according to a criminal complaint filed by an FBI special agent.

Though the letters contained threats, they did not contain any toxic substance, the complaint said. The white powder turned out to be bicarbonate mixed with salts, the complaint said.

FBI declined comment saying the case is still under investigation. Nagel’s attorney could not be reached for comment.

A person claiming to be John Nagel has posted a variety of articles on the Internet identifying himself as a journalist and CIA whistleblower. Those articles also accuse the CIA of running a drug ring in Mexico and the CIA and NSA of using “mind control technology.” The articles also claim that Nagel has been “tortured” by the CIA. Another posting claimed that President Obama had approved a “doomsday Zombie plan.”

All the postings appear to have been written by the same person, possibly Nagel.

One of the articles posted on the Internet said Nagel was in Costa Rica.

The case began on Sept. 1 when a then-unidentified man attempted to mail three letters from the main post office near the Palace of Fine Arts in the colonial section of downtown Mexico City.

As the man turned in his letters, a postal employee noticed white powder was leaking out of the envelopes, the complaint said.

The Mexican postal inspector questioned the man about the powder. The man said it was bicarbonate. The complaint said the inspector told the man to leave the post office and that he would not be allowed to mail his letters.

The man then purchased postage stamps and deposited his letters in a mailbox outside the post office, the complaint said.

The postal inspector opened the mailbox after the man left and retrieved the letters, the powder still leaking out, according to the complaint.

Later, Mexican postal officials examined these and other letters they had seized and realized they were addressed to prominent Americans. They also included Chris Christie, New Jersey governor and Republican presidential candidate; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee; FBI Director James Comey; former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura; and Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard executive and current Republican presidential candidate.

In all, Mexican officials found 37 letters that eventually were turned over to FBI officials. Each letter was four pages long, containing threats on the first page, according to the complaint.

“FREE SAMPLE OF EXECUTIVE TOOTH POWDER,” one letter said, as quoted in the complaint. “ACTIVATES WITH HYDROGEN PEROXIDE. DO NOT SWALLOW! H2O2 MAY BE POISONOUS IF SWALLOWED DON’T PANIC, EVACUATE OR CALL 911 … or there will be consequences … Mathew 13:49.”

The reference was to a Bible passage, Matthew 13:49: “This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous.”

The second page, as described in the complaint, claimed that the writer was a rogue senior CIA officer and alluded to the break-up of a CIA drug ring in Mexico.

On page three his letter reads: “I can bear the stigmata. I made a blood sacrifice for you all. The point of this was just to tell you all that I know things about you. And if you’re in the loop, you already know who I am.”

According to the complaint, the fourth page said: “I know you’re not Angels; and it’s up to you how you will finally be judged. If you want me, I am easy to find. That’s the password. I am happy to say that I think I have work on the other side. One thing I won’t miss is AM radio. THE SINGULARITY IS NOW. Soon everyone will be tuning in. Sorry if this is confusing. You have to be a bona fide kleptocrat to understand its true meaning.”

On Nov. 4, Mexican authorities arrested Nagel on a disorderly conduct charge outside the U.S. embassy in the Mexican capital.

How Nagel came to be in Miami was not explained in the criminal complaint, but federal court records show he was arrested in Miami on Nov. 10. He appeared in Miami federal court last week and was ordered detained pending trial by Magistrate Judge Andrea Simonton.