Lake County man charged by feds in anthrax hoax, faces 15 years in prison

A Fruitland Park man accused of mailing white powder to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office last month in an envelope bearing an index card labeled “anthrax” has been charged in federal court with mailing threatening communications.

Federal authorities also allege that Jerry Stinchcomb, 50, sent similar letters to various entities in Orange, Sumter and Volusia counties, each of which used lettering that appeared to have been generated with a label-maker.

Postal employees in Fruitland Park, alerted to be on the watch for the distinctive envelopes after a letter-carrier found one in a corner mailbox, intercepted six more envelopes between April 30 and May 16. Four had white powder inside.

A postal inspector tested the powder and determined it was not anthrax, a potentially deadly substance.

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