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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Burlington Woman Sentenced for Mailing Anthrax Threat to Sen. Susan Collins

BANGOR, Maine:  A Burlington, Maine woman was sentenced in federal court in Bangor today for mailing a threatening communication to Sen. Susan Collins, U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced.

U.S. District Judge Lance E. Walker sentenced Suzanne Muscara, 38, to 30 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. On November 4, 2019, following a one-day trial, a jury convicted Muscara of mailing a threatening communication.

According to evidence presented at trial, Muscara mailed a letter containing a white powder to Collins’ Bangor address in October 2018. The letter also contained a handwritten note indicating that the powder was anthrax. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service intercepted the letter at a mail sorting facility in Hampden, Maine. The FBI tested the white powder and found that it did not contain toxic substances. The FBI also matched a fingerprint found on the envelope with one of Muscara’s prints. When interviewed, Muscara made clear that she sent the note because she was upset with Collins because of one of her votes.

“American politics is premised on free speech and vigorous debate,” U.S. Attorney, District of Maine, Halsey Frank said. “True threats are not protected speech. They are a crime. Anthrax is a deadly substance that has been used to kill and terrorize. There is nothing funny about it, and the jury in this case rejected the defendant’s claim that her letter was intended as a joke. My thanks to the federal, state and local investigators who worked together as a team to identify this defendant and bring her to justice.”

The FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Maine Office of State Fire Marshal, the Maine State Police and the Old Town Police Department investigated the case.

 

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Contact: Andrew McCormack Assistant United States Attorney Tel: (207) 945-0373
Updated October 29, 2020