A Connecticut man has been indicted with 16- counts for threatening to kill President Trump and sending letters containing fake anthrax to multiple locations including an Islamic Center and synagogue in CT. Gary Gravelle, 51, who also goes by the name Ronald Prejean, a white supremacist who is associated with the American Knights of Anarchy known as AKA is accused of using the U.S mail, electronics and telephone to send threatening letters containing a white powder substance to many states according to the New Haven Register.
Gravelle is also accused of sending threatening letters to a CT. U.S. District Court Judge, U.S. Probation Officers, a branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Connecticut Valley Hospital mental health providers, a Federal Building in Hartford, the First Bristol Federal Credit Union in Bristol, and the Federal Detention Center. He also claimed to have set bombs up at the Thomaston Post Office and threatened that he would detonate explosives at the Burlington International Airport in Vermont and the federal prison in Seattle, Washington.
According to court documents the letters that Gravelle sent to President Trump with white powder and included a letter that read: ‘I, Gary Gravelle,… as a faithful soldier of the AKA, am coming to KILL Donald [sic] Trump.’
According to a press release by the Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Connecticut, the indictment charges Gravelle with 12 counts of maliciously conveying false information about an explosive, an offense that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years on each count, three counts for sending fake anthrax letters, which carries a five year maximum term for each count and one count of making threats against the President, which also carries a maximum of five years in prison.
U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham explained that the indictment doesn’t mean that Gravelle is guilty and asked people to remember that a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in court. Durham has been a U.S. Justice Department attorney since 1982. On November 1, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Durham to be Connecticut’s next U.S. Attorney His nomination was confirmed and he became the 52nd U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut and he became a lead federal prosecutor in CT in February 2018.
It was determined that the white powder that Gravelle claimed to be biotoxin which causes anthrax was baby powder and no injuries were reported. Anthrax poisoning is dangerous and can be deadly. There are three ways to contract anthrax, cutaneous (skin) anthrax, inhalation anthrax, gastrointestinal (bowel). The deadliest form of anthrax is when it is inhaled. When anthrax spores are inhaled into the lungs, it leads to inhalation anthrax. Symptoms of anthrax poisoning can take a week to up two months to develop.
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention anthrax poisoning causes flu-like symptoms, headache, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, confusion, dizziness, cough, sweating, fever and chills. Without treatment for anthrax inhalation, only about 10 – 15% of people who contract the disease will survive. Even with aggressive treatment of antibiotics for inhalation anthrax, it is estimated that only 55% of patients will survive.
Gravelle was under federal supervision after serving 70 months in a Federal prison at the time he made threats to President Trump in September 2018. Gravelle broke the terms of his release stemming from federal charges in 2013 in which he was convicted of sending threatening messages in the past.
If found guilty Gravelle could face up to to 140 years in prison.