California anthrax hoax suspect questioned in similar 2007 case

Marc M. Keyser, the Sacramento man suspected in mailing out 120 hoax anthrax letters nationwide this week, was questioned by FBI agents in a similar case two years ago and warned that such actions were illegal, court documents filed this morning show.

Keyser, a 66-year-old AIDS and education activist who has been the subject of previous law enforcement probes, was questioned in January 2007 and admitted sending a cylinder marked "anthrax" to the Sacramento News & Review because he wanted publicity for a novel he had written, a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court states.

He was not arrested in the case, but the court documents state that, after the new packages began appearing at media and other outlets nationwide this week, the FBI returned to Keyser's home Wednesday and he admitted that he had sent the packages.

Keyser also then led the agents to 11 unmailed packages in his vehicle, the documents state.

While the agents were questioning Keyser at his apartment near Riverside Boulevard in the Little Pocket, a hazardous materials crew was responding to the Modesto office of Republican U.S. Rep. George Radanovich, where one of the packages had just been opened, an affidavit by FBI special agent Filip Colfescu states.

The court documents indicate that Keyser, who has been questioned since the 1990s for various mailings he has conducted, sent the packet to the News & Review in 2007 with a letter and a CD containing his novel about a fictional anthrax attack.

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