COTTONWOOD -- A man has ensured his divorce with his wife was a messy business by sending her alimony checks in the mail smeared with feces.
Brooklyn federal investigators arrested Gerald Desiderio, 51, who lives in Garden City, N.Y., charging him with sending hazardous materials through the U.S. mail, obstructing the mail and interstate stalking.
Desiderio and his wife divorced in Nassau County in 2012 and he had agreed to pay her "spousal maintenance" of $1,720 a month.
In the affidavit the wife stated that since her divorce from Gerald Desiderio, his harassment escalated and she moved from New York to Cottonwood for her safety.
Desiderio's ex-wife, who has not been identified, told postal inspectors in Arizona that she believed the checks sent in the mail had been smeared and that she fell ill with flu-like symptoms and gastric problems.
The court affidavit from a U.S. Postal Service inspector indicates that preliminary tests showed the brown material on the checks, 'came back with numerous hits for organic substances that contained proteins and active biological ingredients.'
It added that more conclusive testing was currently being done.
Because of the potential health risk that she had been exposed to, the Cottonwood Post Office put the woman's incoming mail in quarantine and had it checked by inspectors trained in handling hazardous materials.
They added that over the last year, Desiderio had also been enclosing harassing and vulgar notes that included a sketch of a woman in a straitjacket, pictures of people engaged in sexual acts and a picture of a serrated knife.
Desiderio was arraigned in Brooklyn federal court and released on $35,000 bond. The Verde Justice Court has also issued an order of protection.
He will face a federal court trial in Flagstaff later in the month, officials said.
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