News and Press Releases


THURSDAY - January 22, 2009


WILMINGTON - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on January 20, 2009, JOSEPH EVELYN WING, 23, of Nash County, North Carolina, pled guilty to four counts of mailing threatening communications, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 876(c), that was charged in an Indictment on November 6, 2008. WING also pled guilty to a single count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1), which was charged in a Criminal Information filed on January 13, 2009. Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox took WING's guilty plea.

According to the Indictment, between January 7, 2008, and August 5, 2008, WING, an inmate at Central Prison in Raleigh, and the correction facility in Butner, mailed several threatening communications, via the United States Postal Service to a Judge in Los Angeles, California, and the Clerks of United States District Court in Shreveport, Louisiana; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Charlotte, North Carolina. WING sent these letters containing threats to several public officials. These letters took two different forms. Some letters contained straightforward verbal threats. For example as stated in the Indictment, “YOU DON’T KNOW WHO YOU’RE (expletive deleted) WITH. I’LL HAVE YOU KILLED. WATCH YOUR BACK AND CHANGE YOUR WAYS OR GET FOUND DEAD ON MULHOLLAND AROUND A BUNCH OF HOOKERS.” The second form the letters took purported to contain the potentially lethal biological agent Anthrax. These letters would contain a powdery substance (which proved not to be Anthrax) and a short note. For example as stated in the Indictment, “ANTHRAX (expletive deleted)! DIE!”

According to the Information, on January 5, 2007, WING was in possession of a P90 Ruger .45 caliber handgun. In his Plea Agreement, WING acknowledged using the gun to kill Daniel Lee Ellis on that date.

Mr. Holding commented, “In today’s post 9-11 environment these types of cases are particularly chilling and must be addressed aggressively.”

Each of the offenses holds a maximum penalty of up to 10 years of imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. If deemed by the Court to be an Armed Career Criminal, WING faces up to life imprisonment.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Nash County Sheriff's Office. Assistant

United States Attorney Jay Exum served as prosecutor for the government.


News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at within 48 hours of release.

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