Woman charged over White House anthrax mailings

Kate Michelle Young, a 25-year-old woman living in Kent, Washington, has been charged with sending fake “anthrax letters,” which contained white powder resembling the deadly bacteria, to the White House and the King County government.

Federal prosecutors in Seattle filed charges on Wednesday alleging that Young mailed an envelope addressed to “President Obama-Sanchez” that contained the white powder. Young was arrested on Tuesday and remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing, Seattle Pi reports.

A letter carrier received the suspicious envelope on Monday at the 3600 block of South 262nd Street in Kent. A postal inspector examined the black envelope and found that it contained a powder similar in appearance to dried anthrax.

The sender of the letter, which started with the salutation “Hello Michelle & Girls,” was listed as Issaquah, Washington resident Jim Sinegal, who is the co-founder and CEO of Costco.

“Dear Obama – this is an anthrax sting,” the letter’s author wrote, according to Seattle Pi. “If you are scared, either mail Jim Sinegal 864.00 so you can call 911 or tell the Atty General he can have your rights too.”

Investigators went to Young’s Kent home the next day and took her into custody. She was later identified by the letter carrier as the woman who tried to mail the letter. She is also suspected of mailing two similar letters to the King County Sheriff’s Office.

“Young stated that she put the powder in the letter ‘to piss off Obama,’” a Secret Service agent told the court, according to Seattle Pi. “Upon showing her the letter written to the President, Young pointed out a red fingerprint on the letter and stated that this was her ‘right pointer finger’ and that she had put it on the document.”

Young has been charged with one count of conducted an anthrax hoax. She is believed to have targeted Cotsco because she had recently been fired from her job there. The powder in the envelope is believed to have been baby powder and flour.