ALBANY, NEW YORK – Jesse Bartlett, age 46, of LaFargeville, New York, pled guilty today to mailing threatening letters.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Bartlett admitted that, using the alias of the “Chinese Zodiac Killer,” and from about April 2021 to May 2022, he mailed threatening communications to media outlets, government offices, houses of worship, and private businesses throughout New York, as well as in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the District of Columbia. In the letters, which he signed as the “Chinese Zodiac Killer,” Bartlett wrote that he killed people, ate their flesh, and that he intended to kill more people, including an unnamed bus driver. Bartlett was arrested on May 19, 2022, and has been in custody since that date.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 13, 2022 before Chief United States District Judge Brenda K. Sannes. Bartlett faces up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to 3 years of post-imprisonment supervised release. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), with assistance from the New York State Police and the United States Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Wentworth-Ping.