TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma man accused of mailing an inoperable bomb to a famous Arizona sheriff once unsuccessfully sued his former business partner, whose name was listed on the package's return address.
Gregory Shrader, 55, was taken into custody last week after FBI agents and the U.S. Postal Service inspector served a search warrant at his rural home in Jay. According to a nine-page criminal complaint filed in a U.S. District Court in Arizona, he's accused of sending the package last April to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff in America."
The complaint includes an interview with Shrader's former business partner, William Stewart, who told investigators Shrader may have been trying to frame him. Stewart's comments led agents to probe Shrader, who had sued Stewart and others in 2009, claiming they had discredited Shrader's work on courses about the stock market. On his website, Shrader boasts of how customers can "turn $1,000 into $1,000,000 in four trades."
One defendant in the dismissed lawsuit had said anyone interested in buying Shrader's work would want to know it was "in fact a rewrite of other works that can be bought at a much lower price." Shrader represented himself during the litigation and appealed his case to the 10th U.S. Circuit of Appeals, which upheld the lower court's ruling in 2011.
It was unclear where Shrader was being held, and his attorney and the U.S. Marshal's Service in Tulsa didn't immediately respond to messages left Wednesday by The Associated Press. Stewart didn't return a message left Wednesday at his business.
Authorities originally said the package Shrader is accused of sending appeared to contain an improvised explosive device that could have led to serious injuries or death if it was opened, but they later determined the device lacked a bridge wire and was inoperable. However, the parcel did hold smokeless black powder and could have exploded or ignited in a flash fire, authorities said.