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The FBI Announces New Information Regarding Top Ten Fugitive Clayton Lee Waagner

Washington, D.C. November 30, 2001
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

The FBI today is requesting the public’s assistance for information leading to the arrest of FBI Top Ten Fugitive and U.S. Marshals Service Top 15 Fugitive Clayton Lee Waagner. Waagner had previously been convicted 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, Illinois, on February 22, 2001, where he was awaiting sentencing and facing a term of 15 years to life. Since his escape, Waagner is believed to have committed a number of bank robberies. Waagner has been formally charged with the robbery of a First Union Bank in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

During Labor Day weekend, 2001, Waagner abandoned a vehicle in Memphis, Tennessee, following a hit and run accident. Authorities recovered various items from the vehicle including a rifle, a shotgun, a pipe bomb, and anti-abortion literature. That same weekend, Waagner fled the area after committing a carjacking in nearby Tunica, Mississippi. Waagner had previously testified that he is an “anti-abortion warrior” and admitted to stalking abortion clinics around the country.

During the second week of October 2001, more than 280 letters that threatened to contain anthrax were mailed to women’s reproductive health clinics on the east coast. The envelopes were marked “Time Sensitive” and “Urgent Security Notice Enclosed.” The envelopes also bore return addresses of the U.S. Marshals Service or the U.S. Secret Service. During the first week of November 2001 a second series of more than 270 anthrax threat letters were sent to women’s reproductive health clinics via Federal Express.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, authorities received information that Clayton Lee Waagner has claimed responsibility for sending these letters to women’s reproductive health clinics.

The FBI considers Waagner to be the primary suspect. He is extremely intelligent and computer savvy. He has proven to be extremely resourceful in eluding law enforcement authorities and should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. There is a $50,000 reward for any information leading to his capture.

The FBI considers Waagner’s threats and all threats against abortion providers to be serious violations of federal law, and violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

It should be noted that these letters are not associated with the letters sent to the offices of Senators Dashle and Leahy which actually did contain anthrax.

This investigation is a joint law enforcement effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Postal Service, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), and various state and local police agencies.

Any information regarding Clayton Lee Waagner can be reported to your local FBI office, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Postal Service, ATF, or your local police. Additional information regarding Waagner may be obtained by visiting the FBI website or the U.S. Marshals Service website.

Waagner is described as a white male, 6’ 1’’, 175 to 220 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes. He was born in North Dakota on August 25, 1956 and uses numerous aliases. Due to possible frostbite injuries, Waagner may have limited use of his left hand and may, at times, walk with a limp. Waagner is also known to be a heavy smoker and gambler and to drink Crown Royal bourbon.