The woman charged with sending a threatening letter containing white powder to the Bangor home of Sen. Susan Collins pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Bangor this week and will stand trial in June.

Suzanne E. Muscara, 37, of Burlington was arrested on April 5 by FBI agents and charged with one count of mailing a threatening communication. She was later ordered held without bail. She faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. On Thursday she pleaded not guilty and her case was given a trial date of June 4, according to court filings.

The letter was sent to Collins’ home in October, when Collins was being widely criticized by people who wanted her to take a public stance against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who had been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct. Protesters swamped her offices in Portland and Washington, D.C. Kavanaugh was later confirmed to the court, with Collins voting for him.

On Oct. 15  Collins’ husband, Thomas Daffron, opened a letter at the couple’s Bangor home that claimed to have the poison Ricin in it. Hazardous material experts came to the home and determined the letter did not contain poison. But the incident caused U.S. Postal Inspectors to begin screening mail to Collins’ home and on Oct. 17 they found one leaking white powder, which was determined not to be poison. Muscara’s fingerprint was found on the envelope and she later told FBI agents she had sent it, but that it contained no poison.

According to an affidavit filed by FBI agents, inside the envelope was a double-sided Aetna Medicare Solutions flyer. One side in blue letters was written: “AnthRAX!!! HA HA HA!!!” A stick figure face was drawn with Xs for eyes, a tongue sticking out, and with the word “You” nearby.

Muscara told the FBI she did not recall writing the word anthrax. She said she figured the letter would be confiscated by police before it ever got to Collins and that no one would take it seriously.

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