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More letters connected to political races investigated

April 06, 2005|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

Two more threatening letters connected to the local political races are being investigated by Hagerstown City Police, the acting police chief said Tuesday.

"There are some letters out there. ... We're working all the available leads," City Police Capt. Charles Summers said.

Summers said the letters "are meant to be read by some of the candidates" and contain "varying degrees of threats. It's obviously a threat (but) they're veiled."

Summers said the letters were received in the past two weeks. He declined to say at which candidate or candidates the letters were aimed. He said they were not sent to any candidates, but received by a third party.

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Summers said the department was notified of the letters by the Rev. LeRoy J. Guillory, who provided the letters to police investigators.

Guillory, who had involved himself as a campaign manager for a candidate who has since withdrawn from the race, previously said he was a recipient of a hate letter. Guillory turned that letter over to FBI investigators.

The latest letters are the most recent in a spate of hate and threat letters that have been sent to individuals in the city.

The first five letters were sent on copies of outdated city police stationery. Two of those letters attacked people because of their minority background.

The one Guillory turned over was the sixth letter, and more recently, a letter sent to former Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II contained threats regarding the political campaign.

The most recent letters would be the eighth and ninth letters in the investigation.

Summers said the most recent letters are not written on copies of police stationery. The one sent to Bruchey also was written on plain paper.

The messages in the letters, however, are similar, Summers said. He said there has been progress in the investigation, but did not elaborate.

"We have a little momentum in looking at this case right now," Summers said.

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