Chargest dropped against navy officer for anthrax scare

Charges have been dropped against a U.S. Navy petty officer accused in an anthrax scare.

Petty officer Phong Huu Nguyen was charged in July 2009 with making criminal threats in Newport Beach, California. After being evicted from his apartment, he was found to have left behind a series of disturbing messages written on his walls, as well several powder-filled jars that were labeled as “anthrax,” according to

A school and neighborhoods surrounding Nguyen’s former apartment complex were evacuated after the messages and jars were discovered. A Hazmat team, the Newport Beach Fire Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad were called to investigate, reports.

Law enforcement found the numbers “666” painted across Nguyen’s walls and discovered the “anthrax” jars, which tests revealed actually contained nothing more serious than corn starch.

Nguyen, a 29-year-old administrative assistant in a military recruiting office, was arrested that same night in Los Angeles. He pleaded no contest to the charges against him in April 2010, but those charges were recently, and quietly, dropped.

He had been ordered to pay $4,400 to the authorities that responded to the scare and nearly $1,000 to the owner of the apartment complex, reports. He was also instructed to stay out of local crime blotters through his final hearing on August 31.

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