Florida inmate sentenced for anthrax hoax

A Florida inmate was recently sentenced to more than six additional years in a state prison for threatening a Palm Beach County prosecutor with a letter filled with a suspicious white powder.

Justin B. Lane addressed the letter to then Florida State Attorney Michael F. McAuliffe in the beginning of 2012 while he was in the middle of a 15-year sentence for armed robbery and grand theft, according to Sun-Sentinel.com.

"I hope you inhale this...and your heart explodes," the letter said, Sun-Sentinel.com reports. ""What do you think the white powder is? Could it be something like Anthrex [sic]?"

Lane misspelled anthrax, the deadly pathogen considered to be one of the world's most dangerous potential bioweapons.

The building housing the prosecutor's office was temporarily shut down as a result of the letter. The Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue HAZMAT team was called to the scene and tested the powder. There they discovered it was harmless.

Within two weeks, however, McAuliffe resigned his position and accepted a job as general counsel at Oxbow Corporation, an energy and commodities firm, Sun-Sentinel.com reports.

A series of letters containing anthrax spores killed five people and sickened 17 in 2001. The first fatality in the attacks, Robert Stevens, was a Palm Beach County photo editor.