A man in Colorado was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly sent a manila envelope filled with white powder to state officials who were handling his back taxes case.
The envelope, which contained what turned out to be baking soda, also contained a 32-page letter that disputed the charges, and used language associated with the sovereign citizen movement, according to prosecutors.Matthew O’Neill was arrested by FBI special agents and agents of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, after allegedly sending the envelope (which included his return address) to the Colorado Department of Revenue on May 25. An employee, Jennifer Tate, who had been handling O’Neill’s case, was the recipient of the envelope, which also included copies of documents the state had sent him.
From the Denver Post:
Documents included in the envelope showed O’Neill owed $15,427 in back taxes from 2006 and 2007 and the state intended to file a lien to collect $8,694 of the amount due, which he had disputed.
According to the arrest affidavit, the letter in the envelope was made up of 32 pages of “rhetoric associated with a sovereign citizen typically available on the internet,” CNN reports.
“O’Neill has sent several documents that express his views as a sovereign citizen, and he believes that he does not have to pay state or federal taxes,” wrote FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force Officer James Colyer.
Federal prosecutors say he will be charged with “providing false information and or perpetrating hoaxes related to a terrorism offense,” according to the Post. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
- Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
- Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism