Iowa man indicted for anthrax hoax letters

A Winterset, Iowa, man was recently indicted for sending threatening letters containing a white, powdery substance.

Authorities allege that in February 2010, William Langford sent the letters, intending to convey the existence of a harmful biological agent within, reports.
The 10 count indictment against Langford detailed charges of threatening various individuals and organizations via mail, including nine letters threatening a specific individual. All counts of the indictments carry a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
Anthrax is a potentially deadly bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. The disease affects hoofed animals like cattle and may be passed to humans. It’s potential use as a bioterror weapon dates back 70 years.
In 2001, anthrax was used in the largest U.S. bioterror attack to date, which killed five people and sickened 17. Anthrax-laced letters were sent to various individuals, prompting an FBI investigation of unprecedented size and scope. The case is believed to be solved after the FBI’s leading suspect committed suicide in 2008.
In the Langford case, a bevy of law enforcement departments coordinated the investigation, including the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Winterset Police Department and the Des Moines Resident Agency of the FBI, reports.