Suspicious letters sent to Colleton County sheriff and attorney; FBI, SLED investigating

Nyah El Dey (Colleton County Detention Center)

Authorities say they have reason to believe a man with a "known hatred" for law enforcement and government officials sent intentionally contaminated letters to the Colleton County Sheriff and a Walterboro attorney.

Both the FBI and SLED are investigating the case, after the Colleton County Sheriff's Office says 68-year-old Nyah El Dey and his common-law wife, Brenda Rivers, sent the letters last week through the Walterboro Post Office.

The sheriff's office says it began investigating Thursday, March 15, when attorney Christy Scott reported suffering a reaction to an "irritant" after opening a letter sent to her office from El Dey.

Scott and El Dey knew each other from a January court case, according to the sheriff's office. El Dey had sued the S.C. Dept. of Transportation, and Scott defended the DOT in the case, the sheriff's office says.

During the case, law enforcement says El Dey sent Jjudge Dianne Goodstein threatening letters, for which Goodstein ordered El Dey to serve six months in jail for contempt of court. El Dey remains at large, and wanted by the sheriff's office.

Detectives say Scott's law clerk actually spotted El Dey and Rivers at the Walterboro Post Office on March 14, the day prior to Scott receiving the letter and having her reaction.

The day after Scott's incident, the sheriff's office says the post office's manager saw Rivers return, and mail another letter. This one was addressed to Colleton County Sheriff' Andy Strickland.

Sheriff's office investigators and Colleton County Fire-Rescue came to the post office, and conducted air quality and chemical tests on the letter. Deputies say the results were normal, but the envelope was seized and placed in evidence.

Rivers was later arrested and charged with obstruction of justice.

According to a January news release by the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, El Dey has a known hatred for all governmental and authority figures, and has threatened law enforcement in the past.

El Dey is also known to own firearms, and should be considered dangerous, the sheriff's office says. El Dey remains wanted by the Colleton County Sheriff's Office in connection to the contempt of court charge.

El Dey is a black man, standing 5-foot-9 and weighing approx. 150 pounds. He may be driving a 2015 Ram pickup bearing Georgia license plate VAZ-702.

If you have seen him, or know where he may be, contact the Colleton County Sheriff's Office at 843-549-2211.

SLED and the FBI have taken over the investigation of the suspicious letters, according to FBI spokesman Don Wood.

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