Jay DeVaughn, librarian, likely to be charged with using mail to send white powder, bizarre threats in Spanish aimed at "dirty fascists"
Jay DeVaughn, a librarian for the Community College of Aurora, has been accused of mailing a threatening letter -- a fairly straight-forward charge. But the criminal complaint filed against him in U.S. District Court hints at future counts based on behavior that was considerably more twisted.
Information that appears to link DeVaughn to letters containing white powder that wound up in the offices of Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, as well as Representatives Diana DeGette and Mike Coffman, is wacky enough. But wait until you get a load of letters he may well have sent to a doctor and two different Argentine consulates -- the latter written in broken Spanish and featuring Scarface-esque dialogue like, "What dirty fascists, you killed my brother now you are going to die."
Among the senders listed on envelopes sent to the Colorado officials was a David Cooley, who was subsequently contacted by investigators. According to the criminal complaint, Cooley said his wife, Dr. Yvonne Reid, had received two threatening voicemail messages of late.
One said, "Hey Yvonne. You remember me. I was your patient in Indiana. You took me off my medication and told me to go to an emergency room. You stupid puta. You sick bitch. I know where you and David live... I'm gonna blow both of your brains out."
The other featured a message in Spanish that translates to, "How do you want to die?"
Another name on the aforementioned envelopes was Nathan Karber, whose wife, Jill, had also received threats, including one message reading "Jill Karber RIP" and another containing what the complaint describes as a "graphic homosexual image and the computer message 'Does Jill know you like this?'
And then there were two letters sent to the Argentine Consulate. The one in Los Angeles got the note in Spanish that translated as "What dirty fascists, you killed my brother now you are going to die." The New York office wound up with a Spanish message that translated as, "Dirty Fascists; You are going to die like you you kill my friends, Pigs!" Both contained white powder.
If DeVaughn is ultimately convicted of these acts, the case will stand as proof that not all librarians are mild-mannered. Look below to see the details of DeVaughn's single charge to date courtesy of the U.S. Attorney's Office -- a release much less colorful than the criminal complaint.
DENVER MAN CHARGED WITH MAILING THREATENING COMMUNICATION
DENVER -- Jay DeVaughn, age 41, of Denver, Colorado, was charged by Criminal Complaint for mailing a threatening letter to a victim on February 15, 2008. That victim's name and address was allegedly used by DeVaughn as a return address in threatening letters later mailed to certain Colorado elected officials. DeVaughn was arrested by agents with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force agents and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service late Friday night, February 26, 2010. He made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Denver [Monday], where he was advised of the charges pending against him. He is scheduled to have a detention hearing on March 3, 2010, and a preliminary hearing on March 10, 2010. He is currently in custody.
According to the affidavit in support of the Criminal Complaint, during the course of an investigation into threatening letters, some containing white powder, agents and officers found that a victim and his wife received harassing and threatening letters in February of 2008. The threatening letter in question as to which the Complaint charges states "[Victim's wife] RIP". Further investigation revealed that one of the two other letters received by the victim contained DNA believed to be from DeVaughn. The JTTF obtained the defendant's DNA during the execution of a search warrant at his place of employment. Investigators then interviewed a witness, who stated that the handwriting in threatening letters sent to Colorado's two U.S. Senators and two Representatives appeared to match DeVaughn's handwriting. Other evidence identifies the handwriting on the February 15, 2008 letter received by the victims as belonging to DeVaughn.
The investigation also revealed that similar threats may have been made against members of the Alabama Congressional delegation as well as the Argentine Embassy and two Argentine Consulates, one in Los Angeles, and the other in New York. The investigation regarding these threats continues.
"All threatening communications are taken seriously, as the recipient of these threats cannot easily determine the threat's viability," said FBI Special Agent in Charge James H. Davis. "We will aggressively pursue such threats, along with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners through the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). This investigation is exemplary of the continued value of the JTTF partnerships."
"The United States Postal Inspection Service wants to remind everyone that it is unlawful to use the mails to send hazardous and dangerous materials as well as threatening correspondence," said U.S. Postal Inspector In Charge Shawn Tiller. "Security of the mail, Postal employees, and the safety of our customers is a top priority for the Postal Inspection Service. We will investigate and pursue prosecution of anyone who uses the Postal Service in this unlawful way."
If convicted, DeVaughn faces not more than 5 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine for mailing a threatening communication.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the JTTF with FBI Birmingham. Significant contributions were also made by the Federal Protective Service (FPS), and member agencies of the Denver FBI's JTTF, including the Denver Police Department, the Aurora Police Department, the Colorado State Patrol, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the ATF and the U.S. Marshals Service.
A Criminal Complaint is a probable cause charging document. Anyone accused of a felony violation of federal law has a Constitutional right to be indicted by a federal grand jury.
DeVaughn is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Greg Holloway.
These charges are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.