Talladega County Man Pleads Guilty To Mailing Series Of Hoax Anthrax Letters
BIRMINGHAM – A Talladega County man pleaded guilty today in federal court to mailing a series of hoax anthrax letters in Alabama in March and April last year, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.
Just before his trial was to begin, CLIFTON LAMAR “CLIFF” DODD, 39, of Lincoln, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon to 23 counts of mailing letters that contained a threat in the form of white powder that could reasonably have been perceived as the biological toxin, anthrax. He also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to mail eight of the hoax anthrax letters.
One of the threat letters was delivered to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby’s office in the Robert S. Vance Federal on March 8, 2010. Other recipients of the white-powder letters Dodd has pleaded guilty to sending include Alabama Sen. Jim Preuitt of Talladega, two Talladega County state court judges, Talladega County Sheriff Jerry Studdard, several Talladega County Jail inmates who were in the jail at the same time as Dodd, and police investigators from both the Lincoln and Oxford police departments who previously had interviewed Dodd.
“We are pleased with the defendant’s decision to plead guilty and look forward to sentencing,” Vance said.
Dodd acknowledged sending 15 hoax anthrax letters between March 6 and April 5, 2010. He also pleaded guilty to mailing another eight letters containing white powder on April 24, 2010, and to conspiring with another man to mail those letters. His co-defendant pleaded guilty last year to the conspiracy charge.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the FBI, the Federal Protective Service and the Talladega County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Whisonant prosecuted the case.
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