MADISON COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH MAILING HOAX ANTHRAX LETTERS
BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury today indicted a Madison County man for mailing hoax anthrax letters in September to political offices in Homewood and Washington, D.C., and to an insurance office in Nebraska, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and U.S. Postal Inspector Frank Dyer.
In a three-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court, the grand jury charges DONALD PERRY PARKS, 71, of Toney, with mailing letters containing a powdery substance to the Alabama Republican Party office in Homewood, the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C., and the Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company in Omaha, Neb. Each envelope included a typewritten note referring to the mailing as a “Koran Puffie,” according to court records.
Testing of the substance found in all three letters was negative for the presence of anthrax, or any other biological hazard.
“Mailing threatening letters is a serious matter that is subject to prosecution,” Vance said. “When people receive or handle these letters that contain powder, they are put in fear for their lives or their health, and the emergency response to each letter costs taxpayers thousands of dollars,” she said.
The maximum sentence for each count of sending hoax anthrax letters is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each mailing.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael W. Whisonant is prosecuting it.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
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The Office of U.S. Attorney
Joyce White Vance
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