LIMA — A 76-year-old Elida man who attempted to mail religious items to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will not face criminal charges, even though his suspicious actions led to the evacuation Sunday evening of the Lima Meijer retail store.
The big box store at 3298 Elida Road was evacuated for five hours Sunday evening after a suspicious package was brought into the store. The package prompted concerns among employees and led to all customers and store workers being asked by first responders to vacate the premises.
According to a statement Tuesday from the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, the package in question was an approximately four-pound U.S. Postal Service box that authorities said appeared slightly overfilled. The box was addressed to “President Donald Trump, The White House, Washington D.C. 20500.”
After deputies responded to the business they learned that 76-year-old Jimmy Harris of Elida was at the retail establishment with his wife and approached the service desk with a package to be mailed. Harris requested same-day mail delivery but reportedly was resistant when a Meijer employee attempted to write the street address of the White House on the package.
A Meijer employee spoke to Harris for a few minutes about the shipping process and later told officers the Elida man appeared nervous throughout the conversation. Due to Harris’ seemingly nervous state, store employees made the decision to contact their store management and law enforcement.
Harris was eventually located at his residence and agreed to speak with an investigator. He reportedly had a difficult time recalling what all he had placed in the package, but did state that he believed it was mainly religious items for Trump and Pence, the sheriff’s statement said.
The Allen County Regional Bomb Squad, through the use of a specialized robot, removed the package from the business and was able to deem it non-hazardous.
It was found to contain a study bible, letters to the president and vice president, religion-based DVDs and CDs and other religion-based publications. The investigation found that neither Harris nor his wife had any intention of causing harm or disturbing public peace.
Harris told police he is a supporter of the Trump administration but felt the administration would be aided with additional religion-based guidance. No criminal charges are being pursued.