- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 6, 2001

A self-proclaimed "anti-abortion warrior" named as a suspect in the sending of anthrax-hoax letters to abortion clinics nationwide was captured yesterday by the U.S. Marshals Service.
Clayton Lee Waagner, a "Ten Most Wanted" fugitive who has taken credit for hundreds of hoax letters sent to clinics across the country, was arrested outside a Kinko's store in Cincinnati, where authorities said he had gone to check his e-mail and to log on to pro-life Web sites.
Marshals Service spokesman Jeff Shank said the 44-year-old Waagner, who escaped in February from an Illinois jail, ran from the store as deputies from the Springfield County Sheriff's Department approached the building. He was caught after a short chase and turned over to deputy U.S. marshals, who also had responded to the scene.
Mr. Shank said Kinko's officials had received fliers from the Marshals Service warning that Waagner might visit their stores, and called when a man resembling the convicted felon entered the business and began browsing Internet sites.
The spokes-man said a vehicle believed to have been used by Waagner was found near the store containing numerous computers, software programs and parts, along with a handgun. He said Waagner was spotted last week at a Kinko's in Norfolk but authorities arrived just minutes after he had left the store.
Waagner's arrest was mentioned yesterday by Attorney General John Ashcroft during swearing-in ceremonies for Benigno "Ben" Reyna as the Marshals Service's newest director. Mr. Reyna, former chief of the Brownsville, Texas, Police Department, was named to the post in July by President Bush.
"I'm pleased to say that no sooner does Ben take over the U.S. Marshals Service, but we can write across the face of that poster 'apprehended,'" he said, pointing to several "most-wanted-fugitive" pictures displayed at the ceremony.
"Clayton Lee Waagner is in the good hands, in the custody of the United States Marshals Service. And you know something? In those good hands, I have to tell you the United States is a safer and more secure place. The battle against those who inflict terror or seek to inflict terror or seek to induce terror with hoaxes or threats is a battle that must be joined by all Americans," Mr. Ashcroft said.
Later, in a statement, Mr. Reyna said: "After nearly 10 months of exhaustive investigations by deputy marshals across the country, the most wanted man in America is behind bars. Deputy marshals have spent countless hours interviewing witnesses and family, investigating all leads and searching for new clues."
FBI agents have said that during the second week of October, more than 280 letters purporting to contain anthrax were mailed to abortion clinics on the East Coast, each marked "Time Sensitive" and "Urgent Security Notice Enclosed." The envelopes bore return addresses of the U.S. Marshals Service or the U.S. Secret Service.
Earlier this month, a second series of more than 270 anthrax-threat letters was sent to several clinics via Federal Express. Over Thanksgiving weekend, authorities received information that Waagner had claimed responsibility for sending the letters after showing up at the Georgia home of a pro-life activist.
Waagner was convicted earlier this year on charges of possession of a firearm by a felon and interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle.
He escaped from the Dewitt County Jail in Clinton, Ill., in February, where he was awaiting sentencing and facing a term of 15 years to life.
The FBI believes Waagner has committed several bank robberies since his escape. He has been charged with the robbery of a First Union Bank in Harrisburg, Pa. The bureau said that over the Labor Day weekend this year, Waagner abandoned a vehicle in Memphis, Tenn., following a hit-and-run accident. They said authorities recovered a rifle, shotgun, pipe bomb and pro-life literature from the vehicle.
That same weekend, they said, Waagner fled the area after a carjacking in Tunica, Miss.
Waagner was arrested in September 1999 after entering Illinois with his wife and eight children in a stolen Winnebago, which had four stolen handguns under the driver's seat, the FBI said.

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