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United States Attorney
Central District of California

Thom Mrozek, Public Affairs Officer
(213) 894-6947

January 10, 2005


            A woman who mailed threats, including envelopes that purportedly contained anthrax, to a Boeing facility in Long Beach, California, has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for sending threatening communications.

            Deborah Cox, 40, of Bellflower, was sentenced Friday afternoon by United States District Judge Dickran Tevrizian. Cox pleaded guilty on October 21, 2004 to the felony charge of sending a threatening communication through the mail to the Boeing plant on East Wardlow Road in Long Beach.

            Between June 10 and June 15, 2004, Cox mailed four threatening letters to the Boeing facility in Long Beach. Three of the letters were sent under the name of an actual Boeing employee and the three claimed that God had called upon the mailer to bomb the plant. The fourth letter threatened to stab a Boeing employee, and it included a picture of a person being beheaded in Iraq.

            On July 19, Cox mailed three more threatening letters to the Long Beach facility and a fourth one to Boeing Company offices in Chicago. All four envelopes threatened the use of anthrax and contained a white powder. On this date, a United States Postal Service employee saw a puff of white powder come from an envelope. When the employee saw the powder coming from the letter, the Post Office was shut down and the building was decontaminated, which cost more than $42,000. The letter claimed that Boeing employees had been exposed to anthrax and that the sender was "on a mission for God to destroy Boeing and everyone there. I will celebrate by knitting when all of Boeing is dead." The "anthrax" was tested by authorities, who determined that the powder was simple baking powder.

            In addition to the prison term, Judge Tevrizian ordered Cox to pay restitution to the Postal Service.

            The case against Cox is the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Long Beach Police Department and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Release No. 05-003

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