BUFFALO—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Cory T. Kent, 30, of Buffalo, New York, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to perpetrating a hoax by mailing a threatening envelope. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert C. Moscati, who is handling the case, stated that on November 1, 2011, Kent placed two envelopes in a mailbox at Daemen College addressed to two large U.S. banks. When a postal carrier was emptying the contents of the mailbox, a puff of powder emanated from the envelopes. Further investigation revealed the defendant put baby powder in the two envelopes as a prank intended to “freak out” whoever opened the envelopes. Kent stated he was mailing the envelopes after watching a YouTube video from the Occupy Wall Street group that advocated mailing pre-paid envelopes received from banks back to the banks stuffed with additional items in order to increase their costs.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Joint Terrorism Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher M. Piehota; the United States Postal Service Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Robert Bethel; the Amherst Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police John C. Askey; and the Town of Amherst Emergency Services, under the direction of James Zymanek.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 14, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.