TUCSON, Ariz. – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – A federal jury has found Mary Elizabeth Schipke, 47, of Oracle, Ariz., guilty of Threatening to Use a Weapon of Mass Destruction. The case was tried before U.S. District Court Judge John M. Roll starting on August 9, 2005 with the guilty verdict delivered on August 12, 2005.
The evidence at trial showed that on October 15, 2004, Schipke walked into the U.S. Post Office in Oracle, Ariz. and threatened to blow it up with a bomb. The defendant is being held without bond pending sentencing which is set before Judge Roll on November 10, 2005. Schipke had been charged with violating Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 2332a(a)(3), threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction, and Title 18 U.S. Code 844(e), willfully making a threat to damage or destroy a building by means of fire or explosive while in or affecting interstate commerce. She was acquitted of the latter charge.
A conviction for Threatening the Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a $ 250,000 fine or both. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Roll will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
The investigation leading to the guilty verdict was conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Tucson Division. The prosecution was handled by Jonathan Granoff and David Petermann, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.