A Florida man faces at least 15 years in prison for mailing at least one anthrax threat to a law enforcement agency.
Jerry Nelson Stinchcomb, 50, of Fruitland Park, is accused of sending an anthrax hoax letter to the Lake County Sheriff's Office and faces charges of mailing a threatening communication.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison.
According to the complaint, between Dec. 1, 2017, and May 31, 2018, several envelopes containing a white powdery substance and threatening letters were mailed to various entities in Lake, Volusia, Sumter and Orange counties, the attorney's office said in a news release Tuesday.
The letters caused local HAZMAT teams, the Florida Department of Health, local law enforcement and other agencies to respond.
In each case, the correspondence was written with black letters generated by a label-maker, officials said.
From March through April 2018, the Fruitland Park Post Office intercepted letters with the same labeling type.
Through the investigation, Stinchcomb was identified as the person responsible for mailing at least one anthrax hoax letter on May 30 using a postal collection box.
The letter was addressed to the Lake County Sheriff's Office and contained a white powdery substance and a note reading “anthrax.”
"A complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty," the office wrote in the release.
The case is being investigated by the FBI (Daytona Resident Agency) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from other enforcement agencies.