A former clerk for a state lawmaker has admitted he was behind a hoax that led to a lockdown of the state capitol.
Twenty-eight-year-old Michael McRae pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to conveying false information concerning a biological weapon.
McRae was a legislative clerk to Representative Ako Abdul-Samad of Des Moines, in April 2012, when he opened an envelope containing white powder on the floor of the House. The incident prompted a halt in debate and the lockdown.
Tests confirmed the powder, which came in contact with Abdul-Samad, was harmless. McRae also admitted to writing a threatening letter, which used racial slurs directed at himself and Abdul-Samad.
McRae faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he’s sentenced. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on March 25.