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Man arrested for sending phony anthrax letters

The Associated Press
Wednesday November 28, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO — A 20-year-old San Bernardino man has been arrested and charged with threatening three people by sending them letters he claimed were laced with anthrax. 

Antonio M. Flores was arrested Tuesday and faces federal charges of mailing threatening communications and threatening to transfer a biological agent for use as a weapon, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

Flores allegedly mailed three letters on Oct. 25 to people in Eureka, Arcata and Kneeland. All three envelopes had “anthrax” written on them and two contained a powdery substance, which Flores says was talcum powder or powder from tetracycline antibiotic capsules, according to court documents. 

Flores served about a month in the Humboldt County jail for being in possession of stolen property. He said he sent two of the letters to people he stole from and the third was sent as a favor to a fellow inmate who wanted to threaten the man who had turned him in to authorities, according to court documents. 

If convicted, Flores could face a life sentence.