PORTLAND -- A Vancouver man has been accused of mailing white powder to a U.S. Senator, according to United States Dept. of Justice documents.

Christopher Lee Carlson, 39, faces two criminal charges in connection with envelopes containing white powder and threatening letters that were mailed to members of Congress and the news media, according to U.S. Attorney S. Amanda Marshall.

The indictment charges Carlson with one count of mailing a threatening communication to a member of Congress and one count of mailing a letter threatening to use a biological weapon to a U.S. Senator, Marshall explained.

He was taken into custody and was expected to appear in federal court Monday.

Over the past few weeks, the FBI and other agencies recovered more than 100 such threatening letters. All of them tested negative for toxic substances. They were postmarked in Portland.

Threatening letters--whether hoax or real--are serious concerns that federal law enforcement agencies will aggressively pursue, said the FBI's Greg Fowler.

Anyone who sends threatening letters to government officials should expect to be found, arrested, and prosecuted, Marshall added.

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