UNITED STATES POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE
June 7, 2007
Postal Inspectors Arrest Suspect for Sending Pipe Bomb
West Plains, MO – U.S. Postal Inspectors announced that on June 4, 2007, they arrested area resident Donald Schamber for attempting to send a pipe bomb through the U.S. Mail to the West Plains Police Department.
A postal employee had noted a suspicious parcel in a West Plains collection box on June 1, 2007. The parcel was heavy, had no return address and bore incorrect postage. The employee notified his supervisor, who called Postal Inspectors. Inspectors instructed him not to handle the item, and immediately responded to the scene.
An X-ray of the package revealed a pipe bomb, and Inspectors worked with the Missouri State Highway Patrol Bomb Squad to render the package harmless.
Surveillance footage obtained by Inspectors working with the West Plains Police Department showed a man at a Wal-Mart buying bomb components and leaving the store in a white pick-up truck on May 1. Inspectors distributed reward posters with a photo of the man and his truck to local TV stations and quickly received tips identifying the mailer as Donald Schamber.
Inspectors and investigators interviewed Schamber on June 4, and he confessed to sending the bomb as an act of revenge against his former wife of 32 years. A search of his home turned up evidence supporting the confession, and he was arrested by Inspectors.
The case was accepted for prosecution in the Western District of Missouri, and Schamber was taken into federal custody. He made an initial appearance before a federal magistrate judge on June 6 in Springfield, MO, and the case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Oliver. Schamber faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The U.S. Postal Service handles more than 212 billion pieces of mail each year without incident, and the likelihood of anyone receiving a bomb through the mail is remote. While the Postal Inspection Service responds to hundreds of reports of suspicious parcels each year, only 1 in every 106 billion pieces of mail on average has proven to be legitimately dangerous.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is one of the oldest federal law enforcement agencies in the country. For more than 200 years, Postal Inspectors have protected the U.S. Postal Service, its employees and its customers from criminal attack, and protected the nation’s mail system from criminal misuse.
Postal Inspectors worked with the West Plains Police and Fire Departments; Howell County Sheriff’s Department; Missouri State Highway Patrol; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Oregon County Sheriff’s Office; and Texas County Sheriff’s Office.