A Burlington woman was sentenced in federal court in Bangor on Thursday after she was convicted of mailing an anthrax threat to Sen. Susan Collins two years ago.

U.S. District Judge Lance Walker sentenced Suzanne Muscara to 30 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank said. A federal jury found Muscara, 38, guilty of mailing a threatening communication following a one-day trial last November.

According to evidence presented at trial, Muscara mailed a letter containing a white powder to Collins’ Bangor address in October 2018. The letter included a handwritten note indicating that the powder was anthrax.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service intercepted the letter at a mail-sorting facility in Hampden. The FBI tested the white powder and found that it did not contain toxic substances.

The FBI also matched a fingerprint found on the envelope with one of Muscara’s prints. When interviewed, Muscara said she sent the note because she was upset with Collins because of one of her votes.

“American politics is premised on free speech and vigorous debate,” Frank said. “True threats are not protected speech. They are a crime. Anthrax is a deadly substance that has been used to kill and terrorize. There is nothing funny about it, and the jury in this case rejected the defendant’s claim that her letter was intended as a joke.”

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