2 September 2004 LAWFUEL – Best for law, legal news, law news, law…

2 September 2004 LAWFUEL – Best for law, legal news, law news, law articlesA woman who mailed threats, including an envelope that purportedly contained anthrax, to a Boeing facility in Long Beach, California, was arrested today after being indicted on federal charges that include the threatened use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Deborah Cox, 40, of Bellflower, was arrested without incident this morning by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Long Beach Police Department . The arrest is the result of a four-count indictment, returned yesterday afternoon by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles, that accuses Cox of making a series of threats against the Boeing plant on East Wardlow Road in Long Beach.

Count one of the indictment charges that Cox used the mail to make threats to bomb the Boeing facility. After making a threatening telephone call on June 10, Cox allegedly sent a letter to Boeing, under the name of an actual Boeing employee, claiming that God had called upon the mailer to bomb the plant. The letter also threatened to stab a Boeing employee, and it included a picture of a person being beheaded in Iraq. This letter is also the basis of count two of the indictment, which charges Cox with mailing threatening communications.

Count three, which also charges Cox with making threatening communications, stems from an incident at a United States Post Office in Long Beach, where on July 19 an employee saw a puff of white powder come from an envelope. When the Postal Service employee saw the powder coming from the letter, the Post Office was shut down and the building was decontaminated, which cost more than $ 40,000. The letter, which was addressed to Boeing, claimed that Boeing employees had been exposed to anthrax and that the sender was “on a mission for God to destroy Boeing and everyone there.” The “anthrax” was tested by authorities, who determined that the powder was simple baking powder.

The fourth charge in the indictment, the unlawful threatened use of a weapon of mass destruction, is based upon the allegations that Cox mailed the fake anthrax to Boeing.

Cox is expected to make her initial court appearance this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

If Cox is convicted of all four counts in the indictment, she faces a potential life prison sentence.

The charges against Cox are the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Long Beach Police Department and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

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