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August 12, 09

NEWS / Overland Park Man Sentenced for Anthrax Threat

KANSAS CITY, KS—John Philip Barker, 47, Overland Park, Kan., has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for sending a white powder through the U.S. mails that he claimed was anthrax, U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch said today. After his imprisonment he will serve two years on supervised release.

In May, 2009, Barker pleaded guilty to one count of mailing a threatening communication. In his plea, Barker admitted that on June 21, 2008, he used the U.S. mail to send a threatening communication to the Internal Revenue Service in Austin, Texas. The letter, which was opened at the Internal Revenue Processing Center in Austin, contained the following statement (with misspelling): “YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO ANTRAX DIE!” The Austin Fire Department HAZMAT team retrieved the letter and took it to the Laboratory Response Network lab for analysis. The lab found no evidence of bacillus anthracis.

Investigators retraced the letter’s path to an Automated Postal Center in Shawnee, Kan., where Barker had used a credit card to purchase the postage. They arrested Barker, who said the envelope contained baby powder.

Welch commended The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Smith for their work on the case




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