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Man charged with anthrax, bomb threats

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- A Connecticut man was charged Thursday with sending more than 50 anthrax hoax and bomb threat letters, U.S. officials said.

U.S. Attorney David Fein said the letters allegedly sent by Roland Prejean, 43, went to private individuals, post offices, state and federal buildings, judges and other officials around the country.

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Six of the letters contained a powder inside the envelope, while one contained some sort of paste, though to date analysis of the substances have proved negative for any biological or chemical agents.

Prejean, aka Gary Joseph Gravelle, recently lived in Thomaston and Morris, Conn., and was charged in New Haven, Conn.

"This defendant is alleged to have sent more than 50 letters nationwide, in which he threatened to kill numerous victims, by shooting them, bombing the buildings in which they work or exposing them to a substance that he claimed was, but was not, anthrax," Fein said in a statement.

"The letters victimized both private citizens and public servants, and resulted in the evacuation of a post office, a town hall and a public school. Such threats cause significant diversions of law enforcement resources, inflict fear in the victims and result in substantial disruption of public and government services, and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

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Prejean turned himself in to law enforcement authorities in North Dakota Sept. 7. He appeared in federal court in North Dakota Wednesday and agreed to be transported to Connecticut.

A U.S. Justice Department release contained no further details of the investigation.

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