Man sentenced for sending fake ‘anthrax’ to federal offices

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An upstate New York man was sentenced Monday for sending letters marked “anthrax” to federal offices throughout the Empire State — but won’t serve additional jail time.

James Pantone, 36, of Hyde Park, was sentenced Monday to time served — the more than two years he’s been behind bars since his arrest in 2019 for sending the hoax letters, the US Attorney’s Office said in a release.

Pantone was arrested in February 2019, and charged with mailing the letters to Social Security Administration offices and federal courts in various upstate New York cities.

He pleaded guilty last year and was awaiting sentencing, WTEN-TV reported then.

“Mr. Pantone’s actions caused widespread panic and fear for employees who simply showed up to work that day, and he spent two years in jail as a result,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Relford said in a statement.

Federal prosecutors said Pantone put a harmless white powder inside the envelopes, labeled them with the word “anthrax,” and mailed them out to Social Security offices in upstate Plattsburgh, Binghamton, and Utica, and to federal court offices in Syracuse, Binghamton, Albany, and Plattsburgh.

The letters prompted several of the facilities to evacuate, the release said.

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