ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — The Department of Justice has arrested and charged 46-year-old Jesse Bartlett of LaFargeville with mailing threatening letters.
This was announced by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Janeen DiGuiseppi on May 19.
Bartlett’s arrest was based on a criminal complaint, that alleged Barlett, who claimed to be the “Chinese Zodiac Killer,” mailed threatening communications to media outlets, government offices, houses of worship and private businesses. This occurred in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the District of Columbia.
According to the DOJ, the letters were signed as the “Chinese Zodiac Killer,” and Bartlett allegedly wrote that he killed people, ate their flesh and that he intended to kill more people, including an unnamed bus driver.
Due to these charges, Bartlett is now facing a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and a term of supervised release of up to three years.
Bartlett made an initial appearance on May 19 before United States Magistrate Judge Christian F. Hummel. He was then detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for May 23.
However, this charge stands as an accusation and Bartlett will remain innocent unless proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), with assistance from the New York State Police and the United States Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Wentworth-Ping.