Authorities have intercepted envelopes that were rigged to ignite when opened and sent to the governors of California and New Mexico. They are among 20 such mailings sent to governors around the country and received since last week.
Three of the letters found earlier caught fire, but no one has been injured. Letters to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson were intercepted before they were opened.
As with all the rest, the two latest letters bore a return address from Nevada’s maximum-security Ely State Prison. The letters listed one or the other of two Ely inmates as the sender, but authorities are not sure if either prisoner was involved, reports the Associated Press. A prison spokesman said, “We’re not assuming the names on the envelopes are simply the end of the matter. Investigators are not just talking to the two inmates.” Guards and inmates have been questioned, the AP said. The letters, in standard, white business envelopes, had Las Vegas postmarks and were hand-stamped. None contained written messages–only a blank sheet with a match or match head rigged to ignite when the paper was opened. Sending a letter intended to do harm to its recipient is a federal felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, officials said.