A Maryland inmate serving a 40-year sentence for a string of robberies on the Eastern Shore pleaded guilty Monday to mailing a threatening letter to a federal judge, the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office announced.

Willie Ray Bryant, 41, smuggled a hostile letter out of his Cumberland prison a year ago and sent it to U.S. District Court Judge William D. Quarles Jr., who received it Sept. 14, according to court records. Quarles had previously presided over one of Bryant's state cases.

"BOOM," the letter said, "see how easy this was, next time you wont be so lucky ERM Family ANTHRAX!!"

The document was unsigned, but FBI analysts found Bryant's fingerprints on it along with imprints of his mother's contact information. After the connection was made, Maryland Corrections officials also intercepted a letter Bryant tried to send the President of the United States, promising to come after him and stating "I just hope Allah grants me the opportunity to be the one who chops off your head."

Bryant faces a maximum of 10 years for the crime at his sentencing, scheduled for Dec. 9.

tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

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