Tennessee prisoner indicted for sending threatening anthrax hoax letters

A prisoner from Johnson City, Tennessee, was indicted in Nashville on Monday in a 10-count indictment that charged him with conveying false information indicating the use or attempted use of anthrax.

Branden Frady was also convicted of sending threats through the U.S. Postal Service. Between September 10 and September 18, Frady allegedly prepared and sent six threatening letters to state officials in Nashville while he was a prisoner at Riverbend Maximum Security Institute in Nashville. Four of the letters allegedly contained white powder that the defendant claimed was anthrax and made explicit death threats against the officials, SurfKY.com reports.

"Threats involving the use of weapons of mass destruction cause significant disruption in the workplace and to government operations," U.S. Attorney Jerry E. Martin, said, according to SurfKY.com. "Such threats often exhaust public safety resources and cause needless harm to the public. For those who choose to engage in such conduct, the U.S. attorney's office and our law enforcement partners will act swiftly to neutralize the threat, identify those responsible and bring them to justice."

The officials targeted by the letters included Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and an Assistant Director Attorney General for the 20th Judicial District of Tennessee in Nashville.

If Frady is convicted, he would face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.

The case was investigated by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, the Tennessee Department of Correction, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, SurfKY.com reports.