Denver man sentenced for anthrax hoax mailing

A Denver-area man recently received a six year sentence for sending threatening letters, some containing a white powder, to President Barack Obama.

Members of Congress from Colorado and Alabama were also sent suspicious letters, as were Argentine consulates, according to the Denver Post.

The U.S. attorney’s office for Colorado announced that Jay Stuart DeVaughn of Aurora, Colorado, also known as Jay Paige Edwards, also received a sentence of three years supervised release.

In August, DeVaughn pleaded guilty to a series of charges that included mailing threatening communications and conveying false information to elected officials, the Denver Post reports.

According to authorities, DeVaughn’s letter to President Obama was intercepted in September 2009. The envelope contained a bag of white powder and a reference to anthrax. The letters were critical of health care reforms.

The white powder in the bag turned out to be completely harmless. It was determined to be sugar or a sugar substitute, the Denver Post reports. Nonetheless, emergency personnel were summoned when the offices received the letter. Senator Richard Shelby had his offices closed for two days in the wake of the threats.

"The emergency response required when letters claiming to contain anthrax are discovered can cost thousands of dollars," Joyce White, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Alabama, said, according to "The people opening these letters are put in fear for their lives and have to undergo unpleasant decontamination and medical precautions."