Florida woman sentenced for anthrax hoax

A Sebring, Fla., woman was recently sentenced to almost a year in jail for sending letters containing white powder to the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office last July.

Cally-Jo Wilson Richardson was charged with one count of criminal use of personal identification information and two counts of possession of a hoax weapon of mass destruction, HighlandsToday.com reports.

Richardson was sentenced by a judge to 364 days in county jail after pleading guilty to the charges. She was also sentenced to two years of community control, to be followed by three more years of probation. The judge in the case also ordered Richardson to write a letter of apology to Highland Sheriff Susan Benton.

Richardson sent the letter to the Sheriff’s Office last summer, according to the report. The arrival of the letters forced 40 employees to evacuate. Operations for the jail and 911 center, which are located within the building, were also disrupted.

The envelopes were addressed at a Franklin Street address and were “signed” by Richardson’s estranged husband. Investigators ruled the estranged husband out as a suspect. According to the report, however, the man recognized the handwriting as that of his ex wife. Richardson eventually admitted to sending the letters.

The powdery substance found in the envelopes tested negative for anthrax.