Inmate sentenced to four additional years behind bars for white powder hoaxes

An inmate at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Shirley was recently sentenced to four additional years in prison for sending threatening letters containing a white powder to a judge and a district attorney's office.

Attorney General Martha Coakley said the Derick Maldonado pleaded guilty to the charges stemming from the September 20, 2011 incidents, according to

While Maldonado was serving time at MCI-Shirley on an unrelated charge, he sent two letters containing white powder to the Hampden County Hall of Justice. One of the letters went to the Hampden County DA's office and was opened on arrival. A letter sent to Judge C.J. Moriarty was intercepted before it was opened.

A hazardous materials team was immediately called to the scene and a portion of the building, including the courthouse and DA's office, were closed for four hours while the powder was tested. The testing determined that the powder was palmitic acid, an ingredient commonly found in soap.

Maldonado admitted that he hoped by sending the letter and then being caught, he would be transferred to a federal prison, reports.

In addition to the four years he will serve beyond his original sentence, Maldonado was ordered to pay $5,951 for expenses related to the building's evacuation and the hazardous materials response.