Alabama woman indicted for anthrax hoax letters

Federal authorities recently announced that an Alabama woman has been indicted on charges of mailing two anthrax hoax letters to the Social Security Administration.

Michelle Holladay Ryder of Albertville, Alabama, will face two counts of mailing a letter containing a white powdery substance and a note to someone at the Albertville Social Security office, according to

According to authorities, the letters, mailed in 2009, both tested negative for anthrax or other biological hazards.

According to U.S. District Attorney Joyce White Vance, Ryder could face up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the two counts, reports.

In January 2010, Alabama faced an anthrax scare that hit five cities, shut down two federal courthouses and trapped a congressman in his office. No one was injured and all five letters came back negative for anthrax.

In January 2011, a Colorado man, Jay DeVaughn, was sentenced to six years in prison for the Alabama hoax, as well as for letters sent to President Barack Obama and the Argentine consulates in New York and Los Angeles.

DeVaughn will undergo mental health treatment for the three years he will be under court supervision after being released.

Before being sentenced, DeVaughn apologized and said he believed himself to be mentally ill.