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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Tennessee Prison Inmate Sentenced To Federal Prison For White Powder Mailing Hoax

NASHVILLE – Jeffery Durance, 38, of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and an inmate of the Tennessee Department of Correction, was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court to three years in prison for mailing a threatening communication and conveying false information while threatening to use a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD), announced Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart for the Middle District of Tennessee. 

Durance was indicted in July 2019 after he mailed an envelope containing a white powder to the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Correction, Tony Parker, on September 6, 2018. The envelope was sent through the U.S. Mail to the Tennessee Tower State Office Building in Nashville and contained a threatening letter, which caused a reasonable belief that the powder contained a biological agent or toxin, which would constitute a WMD.  The Powder was later determined to be an inert material. 

Durance pleaded guilty to the charges in March of this year.

This case was investigated by the FBI; the Tennessee Highway Patrol; the Tennessee Department of Correction; the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department; and the Metropolitan Nashville Fire Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert S. Levine is prosecuting the case. 

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Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
David Boling Public Affairs Officer 615-736-5956 david.boling2@usdoj.gov
Updated August 3, 2021