Inmate sent anthrax hoax letters to government offices

Nathan Goninan, a prison inmate in Oregon's Snake River Correctional Institute, may have sent multiple threatening letters to the Whatcom County superior court clerk's office, including one claiming it contained deadly poison.
The return address on two envelopes listed Gonian and the court's mail carrier intercepted a third letter from the inmate on Thursday morning. Gonian was sentenced in Whatcom County superior court to 10 years in prison for second degree manslaughter in the 2007 strangling of Bellingham, Wash. 17-year-old Jessica Franklin in 2009, the Bellingham Herald reports.
The office was closed down on Thursday due to the threatening letter, which claimed it contained poison that would kill the person who opened it, as well as a threat that a bomb would go off in the courthouse in the next six months. The courthouse was evacuated and closed for approximately two hours Wednesday when the clerk's office received a letter containing powder and claiming to have anthrax inside. A local hazardous materials team found that the powder was most likely crushed aspirin.
After opening the letter on Thursday, the clerk's office was closed for approximately four hours and a hazardous materials team tested the air for toxins. No toxins were found in the area.
"If you are reading this letter you will be dying soon...There is poison in the envelope with this letter, it will be in the air, in your nose and in your lungs and you are dying," N.F. Jackson, the Whatcom County superior court administrator, said, paraphrasing the letter's message, the Bellingham Herald reports. "There will be a bomb going off at the courthouse within the next six months, set to go off at 9:30 a.m."
Gonian has a history of creating trouble in prison, including throwing feces and urine at corrections officers, assaulting them and being caught with a weapon. The maximum sentence Gonian could receive if prosecuted as a federal crime for sending a hoax anthrax letter is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.