Feds Investigate Jones Threats

Marion Jones holds up the gold medal she won in the 200-meter event.
The FBI is investigating whether a college student e-mailed death threats to track star Marion Jones during the Sydney Olympics.

It was unclear whether Jones ever saw the e-mail, said her agent, Lewis Kay.

Jones is competing at the IAAF Grand Prix final in Qatar and did not return a call left at her hotel room on Wednesday.

An 18-year-old man, whose name is being withheld, has been suspended from Fredonia State, and a decision on whether to file criminal charges could be made within a few weeks, according to First Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen Mehltretter.

The e-mail threatened Jones; her husband, world champion shot putter C.J. Hunter; and at least one other family member. Investigators declined to say whether more than one e-mail had been sent.

"We've determined that the threat is not a viable threat, there's no danger to Ms. Jones," Mehltretter said. "We are doing our routine investigation to determine who sent the threat and their level of culpability."

Jones became the first woman to win five track medals at one Olympics. The threats were sent after reports surfaced that her husband had tested positive for a banned substance.

Fredonia State spokeswoman Christine Davis Mantai said the school suspended the student last week.

"The college assisted in tracing the origin of the e-mail," said Davis Mantai, who said the mail was sent from a private computer in a dorm room.

All dorms are wired with high-speed Internet access and students automatically receive an e-mail account when they arrive on campus. The student admitted to being the sender, Davis Mantai said.

A spokeswoman at U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., did not comment.

Mehltretter said the student could face felony charges of sending threatening messages over interstate wire connections.

The student told the FBI he had no real intent to harm anyone and apologized for what he had done, college sources said. He faces indefinite suspension until a college board conducts a hearing.

FBI spokesman Paul Moskal said people who send electronic threats often mistakenly think they cannot be traced.

"They think it provides some anonymity in that you threaten from a distance through a screen or a keyboard that are inanimate objects," Moskal said. "The good news for law enforcement is to some degree there is a fingerprint or paper trail left behind that allows them to track that."

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