Man arrested for powder in envelope

June 1, 2011 at 8:12 PM

DENVER, June 1 (UPI) -- A Colorado man accused of sending an envelope with white powder in it to the state Revenue Department could wind up in federal prison, authorities say.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Wednesday agents arrested Matthew O'Neill Tuesday and booked the 51-year-old Kremmling man on federal charges, including perpetrating a hoax related to a terrorism offense, The Denver Post reported.

O'Neill, who owes $15,000 in back taxes for 2006 and 2007, allegedly mailed a manila envelope to the state Revenue Department. A staff member working on his tax case said a white powder fell out when the envelope was opened, court documents said. The May 25 incident prompted the evacuation of more than 500 workers from the building.

A hazardous materials team later found the substance to be baking soda.

But if convicted, O'Neill faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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