Alabama man sentenced for anthrax hoax

A Haleyville, Alabama man has been sentenced by a federal judge to seven months in prison for sending a letter filled with white powder and photos of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to the Social Security Administration in Cullman.

Patrick Bryant Wilson, in addition to the seven month sentence, was also sentenced by U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre to three years of supervised release and seven months of home confinement.

Wilson entered a plea agreement in December with the government.

Before the sentence was handed down, Judge Bowdre noted that Wilson's threats caused terror even though they did not cause physical harm. Such threats, Judge Bowdre said, are on the rise.

"People need to understand these are not silly, adolescent pranks," Judge Bowdrew said according to The Birmingham News. "They have very serious consequences for the individuals that receive them."

According to the December plea agreement, Wilson took a letter to the Cullman post office on Aug. 25 addressed to the Social Security Administration. Wilson's home was listed as the return address.

A postal worker saw that the letter was leaking white powder that was later determine to be baby powder. The letter also included two photos of the Twin Towers in flames.

Wilson's attorney, Don Colee, said that Wilson had applied for disability and was denied. Wilson was also unemployed at the time after losing his job as a regional manager when he got hurt.

"He became frustrated dealing with Social Security Disability Office and acted as he reflected in a 'stupid' manner by not only mailing the matters in the envelope but also making several phone calls as well," Colee said in a court filing.