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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Burnsville Woman Indicted For Mailing Threatening Letters With Intent To Extort Money

MINNEAPOLIS—A federal indictment unsealed earlier today charges a 48-year-old
Burnsville woman with mailing threatening letters as well as letters meant to extort money.
Deborah Mae Carlson was charged with 11 counts of mailing a threatening communication.
The indictment, which was filed on November 22, 2011, was unsealed following Carlson’s
initial appearance in federal court.

The indictment alleges that on eight separate occasions, Carlson sent threatening letters to
the same victim. The letters were mailed on March 1, March 11, April 5, April 13, April 20,
April 27, May 3, and May 24, 2010. All contained a threat to injure the person. Then, Carlson
allegedly sent letters to various businesses in that person’s name, demanding money. Those
letters were sent to the store manager of the Eagan Target store on April 14, 2010; the store
manager of the Valley Buick Pontiac GMC dealership in Apple Valley on April 15, 2010; and
to the Scott Lake Veterinary Center in Prior Lake on April 17, 2010.

If convicted, Carlson faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on one of the
counts because it contained both a threat and the attempt to extort money, and ten years on the
other ten counts. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the
Lakeville Police Department, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Eagan Police Department, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Police Department, and the
Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney
Jeffrey S. Paulsen.

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.



Updated April 30, 2015