Christmas cards with a white powder — the wrong kind.
An Oregon man admitted to sending threatening Christmas and Valentine’s day cards containing a dangerous, white powder to former coworkers. Kelly Michael Burns, 71, recently pleaded guilty in federal court to eight counts of mailing threatening communications.
He faces up to 10 years in prison and his sentencing will be a later date.
In late December 2018, Burns mailed four Christmas cards to former coworkers, according to federal prosecutors. The powder was identified as a pesticide.
The cards were sent to the victims’ workplace and included messages of, “Merry Anthrax (obscenity)! Eat (obscenity) and die more to come.” Three people were exposed to the powder and had to go through an extensive decontamination process, prosecutors say.
That process included high-dose antibiotics.
One of the victims was 10-weeks pregnant when exposed, according to prosecutors. The workplace was evacuated and had to be decontaminated.
Then the day before Valentine’s Day 2020, Burns again mailed four cards to the same people, according to prosecutors. The letters contained violent statements and threats towards the victims’ families.
A handwriting analysis matched the cards to Burns’ handwriting on a job application and tax documents.
FBI agents searched Burns’ home and found handwritten notes where he threatened to kill a former coworker, sabotage his former workplace and conduct a drive-by shooting, according to prosecutors.