Former Florida teacher accused of mailing white powder to schools

She worked at schools she sent letters to

By Jon Jankowski - Digital journalist

POLK COUNTY, Fla. - A former Polk County teacher is accused of sending letters containing white powder to schools in Polk and Lake counties, according to a report from the Department of Justice.

The Department of Justice said Maria Bassi Lauro, 65, of Davenport has been charged with six counts of mailing threatening communications and transmitting false information and hoaxes.

She faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison if she is convicted on all the counts, according to the Department of Justice.

Special agents with the FBI arrested her Wednesday.

She has been released on restrictive bail conditions.

A report from the Department of Justice shows Lauro is accused of mailing threatening letters containing white powder to three different elementary schools in Polk and Lake counties.

The Department of Justice said she used to work at the three schools. 

Investigators said people who received the letters believed the powder could be harmful and called for emergency assistance. 

Later analysis of the powder contained in the mailings proved it was harmless, according to the Department of Justice.

The case is still under investigation. 

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