County inmate suspected of mailing white powder

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A county jail inmate is suspected of mailing a harmless powder he claimed was anthrax to the attorney prosecuting his case, one of a series of powder-filled letters sent around Portland in late April and early May.

Investigators were first tipped to the suspect by checking the return address on the envelope, which included Andrew Barnett's name.

The alleged threat to Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Peifer included an exhortation to snort the white powder included in the letter.

Peifer has recused himself from Barnett's case.

Barnett is also under indictment for threatening letters authorities say he sent to the Washington County sheriff in January 2008.

Barnett has not been accused in connection with any of the other mailings, which went to a mall, a downtown hotel and the airport.