A Primate Dealer’s Pitiful Con

Envelopes with white powder and a threatening message were sent to two people associated with Matthew Block, founder of Worldwide Primates, which imports primates for experimentation. One went to Block’s mother, the other to a company employee, berating them for their association with the primate trade. Police, firefighters, and federal agents responded. Block then sought a permanent restraining order against the animal rights activists who appeared initially to have sent the letters.

Turns out Block himself sent the letters with the (nonhazardous) white powder. Block (already a convicted felon for his role in the attempted smuggling of baby orangutans years ago) was trying to frame the activists and buttress his argument for the restraining order, according to the Miami Herald. He pleaded guilty this time to a federal charge of intentionally conveying false information through the mail and agreed to serve five years of probation and pay $14,872 in restitution for the police investigation.