Anthrax hoax mailed to Colorado Department of Revenue

A Kremmling, Colo., man who mailed white powder to a state Department of Revenue employee on Wednesday, May 25, included dozens of pages in protest of paying state taxes.

Matthew O’Neill was arrested by the FBI on Tuesday without incident for allegedly providing false information and for perpetrating hoaxes related to a terrorism offense. After an evacuation of over 500 employees, the powder was found to be benign sodium bicarbonate, not the chemical or biological agent officials had feared, the Denver Post reports.

O’Neill faces up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

The documents included in the manila envelope showed that O’Neill owed $15,427 in back taxes from 2006 and 2007 and that the state intended to file a lien to collect $8,694 of the amount due, which O’Neill disputed.

"O'Neill has sent several documents that express his views as a sovereign citizen, and he believes that he does not have to pay state or federal taxes," James Colyer, FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force officer wrote after interviewing revenue department employee Jennifer Tate, according to the Denver Post.

Tate had been assigned O’Neill’s dispute and was the one who received the package on May 25. The envelope also included a mailing address that FBI agents tracked back to O’Neill’s home address, copies of documents the state had previously sent to him and a signature that authorities say matches the one on his driver’s license.

To diffuse the situation on May 25, the Colorado State Patrol, the Denver police, the Denver fire hazmat and a terrorism task force were called to the scene.

O’Neill was scheduled to be advised of the charge on Wednesday in Denver.