News and Press Releases

Man Sentenced for Mailing Hoax Threats to State Attorney’s Office

December 21, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael B. Steinbach, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, Vince Demasi, Chief of Police, West Palm Beach Police Department, and Ric Bradshaw, Sheriff, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO), announced the sentencing of defendant Justin Burton Lane on charges that he mailed hoax threats to then State Attorney Michael McAuliffe in Palm Beach County. At the sentencing, U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley sentenced Lane to 77 months in prison consecutive to the 8 years remaining on the state sentence he was serving when he sent the letter. The defendant previously pleaded guilty to counts 1 and 2 of the Indictment.

According to documents filed with the court, on January 3, 2012, Lane, then a state inmate housed in the Florida State Prison at Raiford, Florida, caused to be delivered by the Postal Service, a letter addressed to then State Attorney Michael F. McAuliffe containing a powdery substance and threats to injure State Attorney McAuliffe and a named Assistant State Attorney at their West Palm Beach offices. As a result of this mailing, the Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue HAZMAT Team responded to the scene to collect the powdery substance and ensure the safety of the employees and the facilities.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, WPBPD, PBSO and Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue HAZMAT Team. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert H. Waters, Jr.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

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