Inmate pleads guilty to mailing anthrax threat

An inmate held at a federal prison near Terre Haute, Indiana, was recently sentenced to more than nine years for mailing an anthrax hoax and a death threat to a federal judge.

Marcus Disch was sentenced after pleading guilty to charges of mailing threatening communications. Disch was in the Terre Haute prison serving time on similar charges, according to

U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett said that Disch sent a letter from prison to the Honorable Senior Judge Larry McKinney. The letter was opened at a federal courthouse in Terre Haute before reaching its final destination. The white powder included in the letter was later tested and determined to be benign.

Hogsett said that investigators are unsure of why Disch targeted the judge, but the inmate had written previous letters to him that included complaints about prison conditions.

Disch's letter to Judge McKinney included instructions to, "Smell this and die," according to

"This office made a commitment last year to do all within our power to ensure the safety of all those who work in or around the federal prison system," Hogsett said, reports. "In addition, hoax cases such as this one also highlight the importance of remaining ever-vigilant of the very real threat that terrorism poses in this day and age.