FEDERAL CASE OUTLINES FOUR MERCURY INCIDENTS

Suspect accused in Albany Med case is now facing more charges

CATHLEEN F. CROWLEY
Section: Capital Region,  Page: D1

Date: Friday, April 27, 2012

The man accused of planting mercury in cafeteria food at Albany Medical Center has been arrested on federal charges.


The investigation, as outlined in the federal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Northern District of New York, said that Martin S. Kimber, 58, was a disgruntled patient suspected of dropping mercury in hallways and other public places at the hospital on four occasions.


When Albany Police and FBI agents searched his home and car in Ulster County last month, they found two containers filled with mercury -- one from a dental supply company -- 21 guns and about 50 knives. Officers found "The Turner Diaries," a novel associated with domestic terrorism, and a swastika on his wall. They also found correspondence with Albany Med that described Kimber's complaints and concerns over medical bills and treatment he received at the hospital in December 2010.


The federal complaint describes four mercury incidents at Albany Med that investigators believe Kimber was involved in:


March 28, 2011: Several pounds of mercury were found in the level D basement and hallway outside of a pre-operative care unit, by the triage window of the emergency department and in the tracks of an elevator door in building D.


April 11, 2011: A couple of pounds of mercury were found in the men's bathroom on A1 and in the main hallway of building E extending from the M doors to the elevator lobby.


June 23, 2011: Two pounds of mercury were found on the pedestrian ramp leading from the main lobby to the parking garage bridge, in the E-1 corridor outside of the Choice Cafe and in an elevator of building A.


March 2, 2012: An employee found mercury in her chicken tender basket and was treated in the ER, according to the complaint. Further investigation revealed mercury near the bananas, salad bar, apple bowl, in the toaster and in an ice cream freezer of the cafeteria.


The incident prompted Albany Med to install security cameras shortly before the March 2 incident. The suspect was caught on video and three people separately identified the man as Kimber, according to the complaint.


The federal complaint charged Kimber with illegal disposal of hazardous waste in a manner posing danger of death or serious bodily injury to others and illegal storage and disposal of hazardous waste without a permit. He faces a possible 15-year prison sentence. Special agents from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were involved in the investigation. Last month, Albany Police charged Kimber with first-degree tampering with a consumer product.


Kimber has an active pharmacist license, according to the state Education Department's website. Public records show he was a staff pharmacist at Vassar Brothers Hospital in Poughkeepsie at some point.


In 1996, an Arizona court found him guilty of a false report of a fire, bomb or emergency, a misdemeanor, Arizona court records state.


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