A former teacher faces 15 years in prison after mailing suspicious powder to four schools as 'punishment' after she was fired

Judge gavel courtroomGetty Images/naruecha jenthaisong
  • A former teacher pleaded guilty to sending suspicious mail to four elementary schools in Florida.
  • Maria Bassi Lauro is facing 15 years in prison, according to the DOJ.
  • Lauro sent the mailings containing powder and threatening messages to the schools that she was fired from.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A former teacher is facing 15 years in prison after sending mail that contained an unknown powder to multiple elementary schools in Florida in 2018, according to the Department of Justice.

Maria Bassi Lauro, 66, of Davenport, Florida pleaded guilty to sending the mailings to four schools where she had been terminated, the DOJ said. Lauro targeted individuals who had some involvement in her firing or performance review, according to Lauro’s plea agreement.

In addition to the powder, three of the four mailings had a note inside that stating that it was “punishment” for being an “ugly a–hole,” the plea agreement said.

-FBI Tampa (@FBITampa) March 26, 2021

Local and federal authorities tested the powder and concluded that it was not toxic and was baking soda. Authorities also discovered her DNA on the mailings sent to three schools, the plea agreement said.

“The defendant sent each of the above-described mailings because she was upset with each victim and school,” Lauro’s plea agreement said. “In addition, the defendant sent the mailings with the intent to threaten and cause each victim to believe that he or she had been exposed to a deadly biological toxin.”

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