Update: Anthrax hoax lands truckstop employee in prison

| 11/29/2001

An Indiana truckstop employee accused of perpetrating an anthrax hoax at the travel plaza has been sentenced to prison. The worker had been on probation since 1997 for seven arson convictions.

David W. Jones, of Alexandria, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Nov. 26 for violating his probation after allegedly leaving a powdery substance and a message stating that it was anthrax in the men's restroom at Hoosier Heartland Truck Plaza at Interstate 69 and Indiana 28 in Gaston.

Madison County, IN, Superior Court Judge Dennis Carroll ruled that Jones, who reportedly admitted the hoax, violated his probation by committing false reporting. He will remain behind bars until the case is heard.

Police responding to a call about possible anthrax at the truckstop in October closed the restroom and called for the local hazmat response team. The truckstop was not closed during the investigation.

Authorities now believe Jones is also responsible for previous anthrax threats received at the business. Because of his previous run-ins with the law, if convicted, Jones could face at least 15 years in prison when all the charges are finally settled.