Milwaukee man charged with threatening to release anthrax



MILWAUKEE -- A 28-year-old Milwaukee man is now charged with threatening to release a harmful substance on the city's lower east side on Saturday, April 28th. Police say David Bustamante recorded himself putting a letter he says was laced with anthrax in a mailbox before notifying several media outlets. That letter was a hoax.

The criminal complaint says Bustamonte placed a letter addressed to the Department of Workforce Development inside a mailbox on E. Knapp St. in Milwaukee. The letter-dropping was captured on video and posted on YouTube. In that video, the voice (assumed to be Bustamonte) is heard saying, "sorry guys, Anthrax on the way."

The complaint indicates a check of Bustamonte's Facebook postings revealed in a "note at the bottom of a posting, the statement that 'right now' there is a letter addressed to the Wisconsin Unemployment Office laced with Anthrax outside 1041 E. Knapp Street, Apt. 612, Milwaukee, WI 53233."

The area around the mailbox (near Knapp and Astor) was blocked off by authorities for several hours while they determined whether the letter was a threat. There were no evacuations and no businesses were closed during this investigation. Milwaukee Police Department's Bomb Squad was brought in to ensure bombs were not present. The Milwaukee Fire Department forced open the postal collection box, and the postal inspector special agent recovered the mail inside and quarantined it until it could be tested.

There was no anthrax or any powder - only a filled out Department of Workforce Development discharge questionnaire addressed to Bustamante. Bustamante was fired from Accurate Metal Products in April.

Bustamonte was later taken into custody and taken to the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex.

If convicted on the charge, Bustamonte faces up to three-and-a-half years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Related stories: