Jay, Ok man accused of targeting Arizona sheriff pleads not guilty

Updated March 19, 2014: A Jay, Oklahoma man has plead not guilty to charges that he mailed a homemade bomb to a sheriff in Arizona. 55-year-old Gregory Shrader of Jay is accused of sending the package addressed to Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio last year.

Authorities eventually determined the bomb was inoperable, though black powder inside the parcel could have exploded or ignited in a flash fire.

Posted March 12, 2014: It was a volatile attempt that has led to a heated investigation.

On April 11, 2013, 55-year-old Gregory Shrader of Jay, Oklahoma placed a package in a postal service box addressed to Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona.

The package’s appearance concerned postal officials, causing them to alert the police.

According to the statement of probable cause, the package meant for Sheriff Arpaio had a silver grain-like material spilling from the seems. Upon analysis, officials deemed the material to be an explosive, smokeless powder.

Shrader marked the return address on the package to a former business associate, who later told authorities Shrader had previously tried to frame him.

The target of the explosive mail, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, has experienced prior attention, particularly for his controversial methods in dealing with inmates, including handing them ice cream and having them wear pink underwear.

On March 6, 2014, the FBI and the US Postal Inspection Service issued a search warrant at Shrader’s home in Jay.

“It’s concerning to me as a Sheriff of Delaware County that we have people, or a person like this, who would send a device to a sheriff,” said Harlan Moore, Sheriff of Delaware County, Oklahoma.

Moore said the investigation was handled on the federal level from the beginning.

“The FBI handled it very freely, very well, they did their search warrant in the very early morning hours so basically there was no disruption in anything that happened in the county. Most people didn’t even know it happened.”

Shrader has been charged in federal court with “willfully making a threat.” He will be prosecuted in Arizona