Summary:

Paragraphs 4 through 6 read: "Joyce Leavitt, an assistant federal public defender, told Brazil that Merenkov has been taking medication for passive anxiety disorder and depression for at least 20 years."

"She said the defendant's problems have worsened over the past six months after he stopped using a medication that was becoming addictive. At the time of his arrest Wednesday, Leavitt said, he was working with a psychopharmacologist to find a substitute medication."

"Leavitt said family members reported "some changes'' in Merenkov that began about the time he switched medicines."


http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/6005359.htm

Posted on Tue, Jun. 03, 2003
Judge denies request to move bomb suspect into mental health facility
By Guy Ashley
CONTRA COSTA TIMES
OAKLAND - A judge today denied a Walnut Creek man's request to be released to a locked mental health facility pending the outcome of charges that he tried to conceal live pipe bombs from federal investigators by routing them through the mail.
The lawyer for Steven Virgil Merenkov, 47, asked a federal judge to release her client so he could address a problem he's been having finding the right medications to deal with long-term psychiatric problems.
U.S. Magistrate Wayne Brazil declined the request, however, after prosecutors said his psychiatric problems were all the more troubling in light of the large cache of weaponry -- including pipe bombs, two grenade launchers and thousands of rounds of ammunition -- he allegedly was accruing.
Joyce Leavitt, an assistant federal public defender, told Brazil that Merenkov has been taking medication for passive anxiety disorder and depression for at least 20 years.
She said the defendant's problems have worsened over the past six months after he stopped using a medication that was becoming addictive. At the time of his arrest Wednesday, Leavitt said, he was working with a psychopharmacologist to find a substitute medication.
Leavitt said family members reported "some changes'' in Merenkov that began about the time he switched medicines.
Brazil agreed to appoint a psychiatric expert to interview Merenkov and review his mental health history to determine if there would be any conditions under which he could be released without posing a danger to the public.
A report is due back on June 12.
Merenkov allegedly mailed a package of live pipe bombs to himself in order to conceal the weapons from authorities investigating his reported ties to an Argentinian arms dealer.
As a bomb squad disarmed the explosives at a local shipping store on Wednesday, police raided the Fireside Court home Merenkov shared with his three children and found a cache of 40 weapons, ammunition, more explosives and two grenade launchers, court documents said.
Merenkov told his wife that he tallied names of those who angered him and contemplated "going out in a blaze of glory,'' according to court papers.