U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of New York
(315) 448-0672
December 12, 2014

Cicero Man Admits Mailing Fake Anthrax/Ricin Letters

WASHINGTON—Brian Daniel Norton, age 59, of Cicero, New York, entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Utica to two federal felony counts of conveying false information and hoaxes, according to United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian. Norton faces a maximum possible sentence of five years’ incarceration and a $250,000 fine. He is being detained pending sentencing scheduled in Utica for April 10, 2015, at 11 a.m..

In court, Norton admitted he mailed more than 20 death threat letters that contained a white powder he claimed to be either anthrax or ricin. The letters were mailed to various addresses in the Syracuse, New York, area and elsewhere between 1997 and 2012. Those receiving the letters included LeMoyne College and Bishop Ludden High School in Syracuse, as well as U.S. Senator John McCain, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle. Later analysis of the powder contained in the letters proved that it was harmless.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Syracuse Resident Office and the United States Postal Inspection Service, Syracuse Office, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen C. Green.

For additional information, contact Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney John G. Duncan at 315- 448-0672.

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