Defendant sentenced to two years for mailing hoax anthrax threats
ATLANTA – Travis Ball has been sentenced to two years in prison for mailing hoax anthrax threats. Ball sent letters to the State Bar of Georgia, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“LDS”) threatening harm to members of each organization.
“Ball’s threatening letters, which contained a substance he claimed was anthrax, were meant to instill fear in the recipients and diverted critical resources from actual emergencies,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn. “This hoax and the defendant’s subsequent prosecution serve as a reminder that we take threats seriously, and will use every resource available to protect the citizens of this district.”
“The sentencing in federal court of Mr. Ball to two years in a federal prison is commensurate with the wasted resources and concern generated by his hate filled hoax anthrax letter campaign while already incarcerated on a prior arson conviction. While Mr. Ball’s criminal conduct clearly illustrates his lack of concern and compassion for others, it also illustrates an unwillingness to be rehabilitated,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.
“Any type of criminal activity perpetrated from behind the walls of our facilities will not be tolerated, and we are grateful to our Federal partners for their assistance in bringing this case to a close,” said GDC Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier.
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: On April 7, 2016, while incarcerated in Coffee Correctional Facility in Nicholls, Georgia, Ball mailed letters that were later received by the State Bar of Georgia, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“LDS”) in Salt Lake City, Utah. The letters stated, “have some anthrax” and contained a granular substance. The letter to the State Bar of Georgia threatened to kill all lawyers while the letter to the LDS Church threatened to kill Mormons and burn their churches. At the time he mailed the letters, Ball was in state custody for a prior arson conviction.
Travis Ball, 50, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William S. Duffey, Jr. on June 23, 2017 to two years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $10,704. Ball was convicted of these charges on March 1, 2017, after he pleaded guilty.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Georgia Department of Corrections, Criminal Investigation Division.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jolee Porter is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.