Man sentenced to 29 years in East Chicago post office bombing case

Sketch of suspect who set off a pipe comb at the East Chicago post office earlier this month. | FBI

A man has been sentenced to 29 years in prison after pleading guilty to mailing a pipe bomb that exploded in northwest Indiana.

Eric P. Krieg, of Munster, Indiana, was sentenced Thursday on charges of making an unregistered destructive device, mailing a destructive device, malicious use of explosive materials and mailing a threatening communication, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Indiana.

The bomb exploded Sept. 6, 2017 and injured a woman who worked at a U.S. Post Office branch at 901 E. Chicago Ave. in East Chicago, Indiana, the FBI said. She was treated for minor injuries, and the post office was closed for two days.

Krieg, 47, was arrested more than a month later when he mailed another suspicious package on Sept. 29 that led authorities to him, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, Krieg mailed the bombs in retaliation for a lawsuit that claimed he made disparaging statements on his online blog. After filing for bankruptcy and failing to dismiss the charges, Krieg agreed to pay $45,000 and post an apology.

Prosecutors said Krieg made a pipe bomb and mailed it to the address of the attorney who represented the person who sued him. That bomb detonated prematurely at the East Chicago post office.

Another package sent on Sept. 29 was addressed to another person, along with a threatening message, prosecutors said. The package contained a bullet wrapped in tape with the message, “The next one will be in the back of your head.”

Krieg entered a guilty plea in November 2018 and agreed to serve 29 years in prison, prosecutors said.

The case against Krieg involved the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives; United States Marshal’s Service; East Chicago police; Hammond police; Indiana State Police; Munster police and the Porter County sheriff’s department.