Trial delayed for Ames man indicted on federal Anthrax threat charges

Grayson Schmidt, Staff Writer
Mondell V. Olson

The trial for the Ames man who was indicted by a federal Grand Jury on two charges earlier this year for allegedly mailing an envelope filled with a white powder thought to be anthrax to a Nevada teacher has been delayed until July 30 at the U.S. District Courthouse in Des Moines, according to court documents.

Mondell V. Olson, 66, was indicted on federal charges of false information and hoaxes and mailing threatening communication.

Olson’s trial was originally set for Monday, but was delayed last week.

Olson was arrested March 23, and originally charged with first-degree harassment (an aggravated misdemeanor) in Story County. That charge has been dismissed with the case being transferred to federal court.

According to state court documents, Olson sent a letter to Nevada Central Elementary School March 21, addressed to the victim. Documents allege that Olson crushed up his prescription medication and placed it in the envelope, with a note saying “ANTHRAS.”

Court documents show that the victim feared the powder was anthrax and alerted police.

Olson was previously arrested and charged with harassing a transgender student at Nevada High School in February 2017. In that case, Olson was also charged with multiple counts of first-degree harassment and eventually pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree harassment and one count of third-degree harassment.

Olson was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $625 in May 2017, and placed on probation for one year.

Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds said that Olson’s probation officer successfully petitioned the court to take him off probation in April.

Both of Olson’s federal charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison.