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Press Release

Lake Charles Man Pleads Guilty to Charge in Terrorism Hoax

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

LAKE CHARLES, La. –United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that a Lake Charles man pleaded guilty to a charge that he lied to federal agents in order to blame his wife for a fake terror plot.

Monte Henry Hurley, 54, of Lake Charles, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi, to one count of making false statements to FBI agents.  According to evidence at the guilty plea, Hurley falsely reported on October 18, 2013 that his estranged wife had forwarded a letter to him that contained a white powdery substance leaving law enforcement authorities to believe it may be anthrax, a biological weapon. Authorities quarantined Hurley and responding officers, and engaged in extensive response protocols for anthrax, which included evacuation and testing of the material. About a week later, Hurley claimed responsibility for the letter and powder admitting that he lied to authorities in order to frame his estranged wife.

Hurley faces up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.  A sentencing date of January 8, 2015, was set.

The members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is composed of the FBI, U.S. Border Patrol, Louisiana State Police, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Lake Charles Fire Department, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Myers P. Namie is prosecuting the case.

Updated January 30, 2015