Lafayette jury convicts Oakdale inmate of sending hoax letters with powder in them to U.S. senators

Lafayette Parish

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A Lafayette jury has convicted an Oakdale federal inmate of mailing a number of hoax letters to U.S. Senate post office boxes, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander Van Hook.

Clifton Lamar Dodd, 49, was convicted after a four-day trial and faces up to five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine or both. Sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 28.

Van Hook said on May 2, 2016, personnel at the U.S. Senate mail facility received four suspicious envelopes, each containing a white, powdery substance.

“Each envelope bore a return address of FCI Oakdale and each listed a different inmate as the purported sender,” stated Van Hook. “The United States Capitol Police’s Hazardous Response Unit responded and confirmed that the white powder was merely talcum powder. In addition to the talcum powder, each letter contained a note scrawled in all caps on a small scrap of paper that stated, ‘MY BOSS MADE ME DO THIS.’ On the back of each note was the name of four different inmates, all of which were housed at FCI Oakdale.

An investigation was launched by the U.S. Capitol Police, the FBI and the Bureau of Prisons. Agents interviewed the inmates whose names were listed in the letters, and they found that Dodd had sent one of the inmates threatening notes, bragging about getting the inmate removed from the prison yard. FBI fingerprinting turned up Dodd’s prints on one of the envelopes.

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