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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Warren man indicted for mailing letter containing white powder

A grand jury returned an indictment charging Anthony J. Natale, 37, of Warren, with one count of conveying false information related to the use of a weapon of mass destruction, said Carole S. Rendon, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Office.

Natale mailed an envelope containing white powder via the United States Postal Service to American Business Center, at 7677 South Avenue, Youngstown, on November 10, 2014.  This was done with the intent to convey false and misleading information related to the use of a weapon of mass destruction, according to the indictment.

Natale formerly worked at American Business Center. He was terminated on Oct. 6, 2014, according to court documents

“This defendant scared employees at his former workplace who opened an envelope containing white powder that they thought was a toxin,” Rendon said. “He caused panic, fire, police and HazMat units were forced to respond, and his former employer was forced to close their operations for more than two days. Mr. Natale will be held accountable for his actions.”

“There are appropriate, lawful avenues to express your displeasure at work, and inducing panic by sending what is believed to be a weapon of mass destruction is not one of them,” Anthony said. “The FBI will continue efforts to identify and protect the public from threats such as the one perpetrated by Mr. Natale.” 

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to his case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Seabury Gould, and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mahoning County Sheriff's Office. 

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated March 30, 2016