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Beverly man charged in mailing of supposedly contaminated letters to OKCupid officials

A Beverly man is facing federal charges for allegedly sending a white powder he claimed was anthrax, a bloodstain supposedly containing the AIDS virus, and threatening letters through the mail to the Dallas headquarters of the online dating site OKCupid.

Liam MacLeod apparently targeted the dating website and a top company official after they banned him from having access to the site. According to US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling’s office, MacLeod allegedly sent nine threatening letters between September and December of 2017.

MacLeod, 47, is scheduled to make an initial appearance in US District Court in Boston Thursday afternoon.

In a letter dated Sept. 12, 2017, MacLeod allegedly sent an envelope with white powder to the company headquarters. The letter included the words “Ban me will ya . . . Welcome to the wonderful world of ANTHRAX.”


Two days later, a second letter arrived. “How’d you like what I sent you?’’ the text of the second letter reads. “Aww, go take a powder.”

The writer claimed that his father was a member of the Hell’s Angels and that knew the make and model of the vehicles driven by company officials and where they were routinely parked. “Hmm, think of the possibilities!” the letter concluded.

On Sept. 20, 2017, MacLeod allegedly sent an envelope with a single piece of paper and no text. “The envelope and its contents, a single piece of white paper, each contained significant red-brown staining consistent with blood,’’ prosecutors wrote in a statement Thursday.

A fourth letter arrived on Sept. 21, 2017. In that typewritten letter, the writer “indicated that the red-brown staining on the previous letter was blood infected with the AIDS virus,’’ prosecutors wrote.

MacLeod allegedly sent five more letters until a final one was received by the company on Dec. 21, 2017. Each time the company got the letters, first responders called in specialized hazmat units in order to determine whether the powder and the white paper with the red markings were in fact anthrax or blood infected with the AIDS virus.


They were not, and MacLeod faces federal charges of mailing threatening communications and conveying false information and hoaxes, according to prosecutors. He faces a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment if convicted of the threatening communication charge and a maximum of five years for the hoax charge, prosecutors said.

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.