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Press Release

Burnsville Woman Convicted Of Mailing Letters Intended To Extort Money

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS—Late yesterday afternoon, a federal-court jury found a 49-year-old Burnsville woman guilty of mailing threatening letters and letters meant to extort money. The jury convicted Deborah Mae Carlson of 12 counts of mailing threatening communications. Carlson was indicted on November 22, 2011.

The evidence presented at trial proved that on eight separate occasions, Carlson sent threatening letters to an individual. The letters were mailed on March 1, March 11, April 5, April 13, April 20, April 27, May 3, and May 24, 2010. All contained threats to injure that individual. She also sent a threatening letter to a second person. Moreover, Carlson mailed letters to various businesses in the first individual’s name.
Those letters, which demanded money, were sent to the store manager of the Eagan Target store on April 14, 2010; the store manager of the Valley Buick Pontiac GMC dealership in Apple Valley on April 15, 2010; and the Scott Lake Veterinary Center in Prior Lake on April 17, 2010.

For her crimes, Carlson faces a potential maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison on each threat count and a total of 24 years on the three extortion counts. United States District Court Judge John R. Tunheim will determine her sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.

This case resulted from an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s Forensic Science Laboratory, and the police departments of Lakeville, Apple Valley, Savage, Shakopee, and Eagan. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey S. Paulsen.



Updated April 30, 2015