Colo. man pleads guilty in Obama anthrax hoax

DENVER — A man from the Denver area pleaded guilty Thursday to sending letters containing white powder to President Barack Obama, members of Congress from Colorado and Alabama, and Argentine consulates.

Jay DeVaughn, 41, of Aurora faced 13 federal counts of mailing threatening communications.

Under sentencing guidelines, he could face from about two years to nearly five years in prison when sentenced Nov. 19.

Except for ones sent to the consulates, each letter included the name of a Denver-area doctor as the return address and objected to national health care reform.

He mailed a letter to Obama that was intercepted Sept. 10, 2009, according to court documents. The letter called health care reform championed by Obama and passed by Congress a “joke” and contained a plastic bag of white powder and a reference to anthrax.

The white powder in all the letters was harmless, but emergency personnel were called when the various offices received the mail, authorities said.

DeVaughn mailed letters to the Colorado and Washington, D.C, offices of four members of Colorado’s congressional delegation last year and earlier this year, according to court records. He also pleaded guilty to sending letters to Alabama congressional members in January and to the Argentine consulates in Los Angeles and New York.

DeVaughn, a former Community College of Aurora employee, has family in Alabama.


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