RIPR News
12:09 pm
Fri October 19, 2001

Man Accused of Hoax Appears In Court

A Portsmouth man accused of mailing a hoax anthrax threat appeared in federal court in Providence Friday and was freed on $10,000 bail.

William Silvia, age 34, made no comment leaving the courthouse. He is accused of mailing a letter to a couple in Lincoln that contained talcum powder, but a note suggesting it was anthrax. Silvia faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, if convicted on the charge of sending a threatening communication through the mail.

State and federal authorities have used the case to warn others considering hoaxes that they will be prosecuted.