ALBANY, NEW YORK – Jason Pantone, age 34, of Hyde Park, New York, was arrested and charged in a criminal complaint with mailing envelopes containing suspicious white powder to federal offices in New York and Connecticut.
The arrest was announced by United States Attorney Grant Jaquith, James Hendricks, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), John Grasso, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), New York Field Division, and Joseph Cronin, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Boston Division.
Pantone was charged in a criminal complaint with conveying false information and hoax. He was arrested yesterday afternoon and appeared in federal court in Albany, New York today.
As alleged in the criminal complaint, Pantone is accused of using the U.S. mail to send envelopes containing white power to locations in New York and Connecticut. Each envelope contained suspicious white powder and a note indicating, or implying, that the powder was dangerous or intended to cause harm. The complaint alleges that beginning in February 2019, Pantone mailed envelopes addressed to the Social Security Administration Offices in the towns and cities of Plattsburgh, Binghamton, Utica, West Nyack, White Plains, New York, as well as offices in Hartford and Torrington, Connecticut. The complaint also alleges that additional letters were addressed to United States District Court offices in Syracuse, Binghamton, Albany, Plattsburgh, and Utica. All the envelopes contained a typed note, which said “ANTHRAX.”
All samples of the white powder tested thus far have not contained hazardous material.
The charge of false information and hoax carries a maximum sentence of five (5) years in prison, a one (1) year term of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
The charge in the complaint is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Some of the agencies responding to the receipt of the envelopes containing white powder included the Albany Fire Department HazMat Team, Binghamton Fire Department HazMat, Binghamton Police Department, City of Plattsburgh Fire Department, Utica Fire Department HazMat Team, Utica Police Department, Clinton County Fire and Rescue Department, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Connecticut State Police, Federal Protective Service, Hartford Fire Department, Hartford Police Department, Torrington Fire Department, Torrington Police Department
This case was investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, and the New York State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Troy Anderson and Stephen Green.