Hyde Park Man Faces Prison Sentence After Mailing Hoax Letters To Federal Offices

Courts webkey (Photo: Journal File)

A 34-year-old Hyde Park man was charged in a criminal complaint with "conveying false information and hoax," according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of New York.

In February, Jason Pantone allegedly mailed envelops with a "suspicious white powder" to federal offices in two states. He was arrested on Wednesday and appeared in federal court in Albany on Thursday. 

"All samples of the white powder tested thus far have not contained hazardous material," according to the release.

Although samples have tested negative for hazardous material, Pantone allegedly used the U.S. Postal Service to send it out with a typed note that said "ANTHRAX" to indicate it was dangerous, according to the prosecutor's office.

Anthrax is a rare disease that people can become sick with if they come in contact with infected animals or animal products. It can lead to death if not treated with antibiotics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.

The letters were sent to state Social Security Administration offices in Binghampton, Plattsburgh, Utica, West Nyack, White Plains and in Connecticut offices in Hartford and Torrington.

Letters were also sent to U.S. District Court offices in Syracuse, Binghamton, Albany, Plattsburgh and Utica.

Pantone faces a sentence of up to five years in prison, a year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. 

The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General and state police investigated the case.

Ryan Santistevan: [email protected]; 845-437-4809; Twitter: @SantistevanRyan

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