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Press Release

Local Inmate Sentenced To 10 Years For Threatening Anthrax Use

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


PENSACOLA, FLORIDA –Justin B. Lane, 35, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison today after pleading guilty to mailing threatening communications to state prosecutors in Central Florida and threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction. The sentence was announced by Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

In August 2017, while incarcerated on other matters in the Santa Rosa Correctional Institution in Milton, Florida, Lane mailed two letters to the Polk County State Attorney’s Office threatening to use anthrax. The two letters contained a white powdery substance that Lane claimed to be anthrax, and the letters stated that whoever opened the letters was going to die. The letters were opened by support staff in the state prosecutor’s office and biothreat protocols were initiated for fear of danger to life. Lane was sentenced as a career offender based on previous convictions, including a prior conviction for engaging in similar acts in West Palm Beach. The federal sentence imposed on Lane today will be served consecutively to all sentences Lane is currently serving.

"This office takes seriously any threat against citizens, and especially against those who are sworn to uphold the law," U.S. Attorney Keefe said.

This case resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Assistant United States Attorney David L. Goldberg prosecuted the case.

"While we determined that the mailings did not contain harmful substances, both of these incidents required significant law enforcement response, which comes at a cost to taxpayers and limits resources for actual emergencies," said Rachel Rojas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. "This case demonstrates the commitment of the FBI and our law enforcement partners to fully investigate threatening behavior directed toward disrupting the justice system."

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access available public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit


U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Florida

Updated July 18, 2019