Connecticut man arrested for anthrax hoax letters

A Conecticut man has been arrested for sending threatening letters containing white powder to public officials.

According to, the suspect is a Connecticut man who had threatened public officials, including federal judges.

Roland Prejean, 43, allegedly sent more than 75 of the threatening letters during a cross-country trip. Some of these letters allegedly referred to and contained an anthrax-like substance. The substance was later determined to be baby powder, reports.

Authorities were alerted to Prejean’s whereabouts when Prejean himself called Bismarck, N.D., police and informed them that federal authorities were seeking him. Prejean, also known as Gary Gravelle, is currently awaiting a hearing to determine extradition to Connecticut, reports. He plans to act as his own attorney.

Concern about sending anthrax-laced letters has grown since a 2001 attack killed five people and sickened 17 others in the United States. In that attack, anthrax spores were sent via mail to various public and private individuals. The deaths included two postal workers who handled the affected letters.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one half of those who inhale anthrax spores will die as a result.

Roughly $6.48 billion has been budgeted for biodefense for fiscal year 2010 to fight such attacks, with approximately 75 percent of that going to the Department of Health and Human Services.