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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Monday, May 19, 2014

Jasper Woman Pleads Guilty To Sending Hoax Anthrax Letter

Jacksonville, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Kathryn Cohen Allen (47, Jasper) has pleaded guilty to sending letters to the offices of Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson in June of 2011, threatening their lives. Allen faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison and a fine of $500,000. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to court documents, on June 27, 2011, Allen mailed threatening letters containing a white powdery substance to the offices of United States Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson. Both offices were evacuated as a result. Field and laboratory testing determined that the white powdery substance was not hazardous. Allen admitted that she sent the letters in an effort to frame her neighbor whom she believed was engaged in an interracial relationship. Allen was implicated in the scheme when her handwriting was identified in each of the letters.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Numerous local agencies also participated in the investigation, including the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue, and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay Taylor.

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Updated January 26, 2015