11 January 2004 – LAWFUEL – Best for law news – A woman who mailed threats, including envelopes that purportedly contained anthrax, to a Boeing facility in Long Beach, California, has been sentenced to 18 months in
federal prison for sending threatening communications.
Deborah Cox, 40, of Bellflower, was sentenced Friday afternoon by United States
District Judge Dickran Tevrizian. Cox pleaded guilty on October 21, 2004 to the
felony charge of sending a threatening communication through the mail to the Boeing plant on East Wardlow Road in Long Beach.
Between June 10 and June 15, 2004, Cox mailed four threatening letters to the
Boeing facility in Long Beach. Three of the letters were sent under the name of an actual Boeing employee and the three claimed that God had called upon the mailer to
bomb the plant. The fourth letter threatened to stab a Boeing employee, and it
included a picture of a person being beheaded in Iraq.
On July 19, Cox mailed three more threatening letters to the Long Beach facility
and a fourth one to Boeing Company offices in Chicago. All four envelopes
threatened the use of anthrax and contained a white powder. On this date, a United
States Postal Service employee saw a puff of white powder come from an envelope.
When the employee saw the powder coming from the letter, the Post Office was shut
down and the building was decontaminated, which cost more than $42,000. The letter
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. I will celebrate by
knitting when all of Boeing is dead.” The “anthrax” was tested by authorities, who determined that the powder was simple baking powder.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Tevrizian ordered Cox to pay restitution to
the Postal Service.
The case against Cox is the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal
Bureau of Investigation, the Long Beach Police Department and the United States Postal Inspection Service.