Prisoner indicted for sending threatening powder to former state attorney

A federal grand jury indicted a prisoner in Palm Beach County, Florida, for allegedly threatening to kill Michael McAuliffe, a former state attorney for the county, using a powder-laced letter.

Justin Lane, who is currently serving a 15 year prison sentence for a 2005 grand theft and armed robbery, allegedly sent an envelope with powder to McAuliffe's office in West Palm Beach and insinuated that the powder was anthrax. The letter arrived at the office on January 3 and a federal examination determined the powder was harmless, the Sun Sentinel reports.

"I am grateful that the individual who threatened me and my office is being held accountable," McAuliffe said, according to the Sun Sentinel. "The white powder death threat incident was another attempt to intimidate and interfere with prosecutors and investigators who work to protect the community."

Six months before the 2005 sentence, Lane was released after nearly three years in prison for an aggravated battery conviction. Now the Palm Beach County man could face up to five more years in prison for each count of orchestrating a hoax and mailing threatening letters.

Anthrax scares have led to shutdowns at several government buildings in South Florida over the past year, including the campaign office of U.S. Rep. Allen West, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Building, and a Palm Beach County Jail.