News and Press Releases

Jasper Woman Indicted In Anthrax Hoax

July 24, 2012

Jacksonville, Florida- United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Kathryn Cohen Allen (45, Jasper) with nine counts of mailing hoax anthrax letters. If convicted on all counts, Allen faces a maximum penalty of forty-five years in federal prison.

According to the indictment, between June 24, 2011 and June 28, 2011, Allen mailed threatening letters containing a white powdery substance to the offices of United States Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson. She also mailed similar letters to the Hamilton County Correctional Institution, the Hamilton County Health Department, the Hamilton County Tax Collector's Office, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services, and to three private citizens. Field and laboratory testing determined that the white powdery substance was not hazardous.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Joint Terrorism Task Force, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay Taylor.

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