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Sunday, December 10, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Anthrax Letter Hoax Leads to Inmate’s Indictment

NASHVILLE (CN) - An inmate was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday on charges that he allegedly sent a threatening letter containing a white power he said was anthrax to an assistant district attorney.

Prosecutors say Justin Carter sent a letter in April to a Sumner County, Tenn. assistant district attorney, threatening to kill him and the public defender that represented the 28-year-old at his then-recent trial.

Carter was a prisoner at Riverbend Maximum Security Institute in Nashville when the letter was sent, and among the things it said was that a white powder it contained was anthrax.

U.S. Attorney David Rivera said Anthrax threats interrupt everyday business and will be taken seriously by his office.

"Threats involving the use of Anthrax cause significant disruption in the workplace and to government operations," Rivera said. "Such threats often exhaust public safety resources and cause needless harm to the public. For those who choose to engage in such conduct, the U.S. Attorney's Office and our law enforcement partners will act swiftly to neutralize the threat, identify those responsible and bring them to justice."

A federal grand jury in Nashville indicted Carter no two counts: one charge of sending threats through the mail and another for "conveying false information indicating the use of or attempted use of Anthrax," the release states.

Sumner County District Attorney Ray Whitley echoed Rivera's sentiment.

"This incident caused tremendous disruption to our office and to the people of Sumner County," Whitley said. "Any threat made to any entity of our justice system, with the intent to disrupt or impede the administration of justice, or in retaliation for justice served, will always be met with a coordinated response that will insure those responsible are held accountable for their actions."

The case was investigated by the FBI. Carter faces up to five years in prison and a $500,000 fine if convicted of the charges.

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