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Wisconsin Man Sentenced for Illegal Chemical Weapon Possession

Release Date: 03/26/2003
Contact Information:

Teresa Libera 202-564-7873/

03/26/2003 - Joseph Konopka of DePere, Wis., was sentenced to 13 years in prison on March 13 for illegally possessing a chemical weapon. Konopka previously pled guilty to illegally possessing bottles containing potassium cyanide and sodium cyanide and containers filled with other chemicals. The defendant had taken the chemicals from an abandoned warehouse in Chicago and then stored the chemicals in a Chicago subway substation. Since cyanide
can cause significant brain damage and death, the discovery of these chemicals led to a thorough search which required a significant portion of the subway system to be shut down. In addition to this crime, Konopka also was convicted on state and federal charges for vandalizing a variety of properties, including power lines, air navigation equipment, and radio and television transmission towers. Konopka, who calls himself “Dr. Chaos,” claim she was the leader of an anarchist group. The sentencing came from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago. The investigation was led by the FBI, with the assistance of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the City of Chicago law enforcement authorities.