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A Jefferson County resident, formerly employed as a police officer and officer with the Kentucky Department of Corrections, pled guilty today in U.S. District Court for mailing threatening communications to a federal law enforcement officer and knowingly depositing a firearm in the mail, according to David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.
According to the plea agreement, Ted Ray Schlenker, age 48, knowingly deposited for mail at the United States Post Office in Bowling Green, Kentucky on Scottsville Road, a written threatening communication and a Jennings, Bryco Arms, 9mm handgun, addressed to the personal residence of a Special Agent for the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
In open court, Schlenker admitted in the plea agreement that on April 25, 2012, while under investigation by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for federal firearms violations, the defendant, Ted Ray Schlenker, placed a handgun and handwritten letter addressed to an ATF special agent in a mail receptacle at the United States Post Office on Scottsville Road in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which is located in the Western District of Kentucky. The envelope was addressed to Special Agent D.V.'s personal residence and read as follows:
"Dan if you want this to look like a suicide get me another piece because to use this one would be suicide. The slide is cracked on this one. Where ever you borrowed or stole it, give it back! If this is a set-up we will burn you with it! Just so you remember I have the DVD and I gonna make copies! I suggest you answer your other phone or return the Text! If you want this done right I suggest you get me a gun that works! Answer your other phone dam it.”
Postal employees recovered a manila envelope which contained the handwritten note and the firearm, a Bryco, Model Jennings Nine, 9mm pistol, serial number 1350201.
The defendant knowingly and willfully mailed the firearm, an improperly mailed item, and letter which Special Agent D.V. reasonably took as a serious expression of the defendant's intent to inflict bodily harm. Furthermore, the mailing was perceived by Special Agent D.V. to effect some change or achieve some goal through intimidation.
According to an Affidavit filed in support of a federal criminal complaint, defendant Schlenker was being investigated by ATF for firearms violations in connection with Kentucky Gun Runners, Inc., a company formerly owned by Schlenker. Specifically, the agent to whom Schlenker mailed the gun and letter was conducting the investigation. In 2010, ATF conducted a compliance inspection on Kentucky Gun Runners, Inc., and discovered ten firearms not properly recorded and 49 firearms that were recorded, but missing from the store’s inventory. Schlenker is suspected of falsifying ATF forms. The ATF determined that Kentucky Gun Runners, Inc., had purchased the Jennings, Bryco Arms 9mm handgun, but did not officially record the purchase.
ATF conducted a federal search warrant on Schlenker’s Jefferson County, Kentucky residence on April 27, 2012. Agents located a white notepad inside a Ford Escape and a wrinkled piece of paper in a trash bag with the words, “Dan if you whant”. The phraseology and hand writing matched the writing of the letter sent to the ATF Special Agent, while the notepad had indentations of hand writing which matched the letter placed in the mail to be sent to the personal residence of the ATF Special Agent.
A search of the garage revealed several documents, including computer research data containing the personal information, including addresses, phone numbers, and personal vehicle types of law enforcement agents and their spouses. During the search, Schlenker is alleged to have remarked, “You know what they say, know your enemies.”
At sentencing, Schlenker faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison, a fine of $500,000 and a four year period of supervised release.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Judd and is being investigated by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Bowling Green Police Department.