A former Florida teacher pleaded guilty to sending mail containing a suspicious white powder to multiple elementary schools throughout central Florida.
Maria Bassi Lauro, 66, faces a maximum penalty of 15years in federal prison, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
Beginning in Aug. 2018, Lauro sent the powdery substance, which turned out to be baking soda, to Citus Ridge Academy and Four Corners Charter School in Davenport, Groveland Elementary School in Groveland and Laurel Elementary School in Poinciana.
All of the mailings included notes indicating the powder was a “punishment.”
Law enforcement and HAZMAT-trained personnel responded to all of the schools after employees opened the notes.
Lauro was fired for poor performance from all of the schools she sent the packages to, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Each victim that received a letter had played a role in her performance reviews and/or terminations, they added.
Lauro admitted she sent the letters because she was upset and wanted to make each victim believe they were exposed to a “deadly biological toxin,” the release said.