Tenn. anthrax hoaxer implicated in new series of threats

A Tennessee prisoner who sent a letter filled with a white powder to a federal judge is now thought to be behind a series of bomb threats in the state.

Two businesses in Memphis, two schools, a bank in Collierville, Tennessee, and the National Civil Rights Museum all recently received letters saying that a bomb had been planted in their buildings, according to CorrectionsOne.com.

All of the threatened institutions were evacuated and searched, but police dogs found no evidence of explosives.

Marshall DeWayne Williams was named the suspect in an incident report, but there has been no indication as to why police believe he was involved.

Williams was convicted in 2009 of sending a white powder-filled letter to U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen, CorrectionsOne.com reports. In the letter, Williams wrote that the white powder was “powerful crystal anthrax.” A law clerk opened the letter, which was later found to contain artificial sweetener.

Williams was in prison when he wrote the letter. He was convicted by a jury in 1984 of planting a pipe bomb in a newspaper vending machine in Mesquite, Texas. His stepfather was killed in the resulting explosion.

Williams sent appeals to several districts, including the one in West Tennessee. Judge Breen denied the appeal.