In Boston, Daniel Frisiello, (24) was arrested by federal authorities in connection with the mailing of five threatening letters that contained a white powder to well-known persons in the United States. Among those to who such a letter was received is Donald J. Trump Jr. -- the son of President Donald Trump. The letter was opened by the president's daughter-in-law, Vanessa, who had children at home at the time.
Hailing from Beverly, Massachusetts, Frisiello was charged with five counts of mailing a threat to injure a person, and five counts of false information and hoaxes. Frisiello was arrested on Tuesday and appeared in federal court in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Law enforcement has connected Frisiello to at least five incidents of high-profile individuals who received an envelope that bore a Boston postmark, containing suspicious white powder and a note indicating or implying that the powder was dangerous. “This investigation should remind people that law enforcement will prioritize finding and charging those who try to cause panic by sending threatening letters containing what looks like dangerous substances,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew E. Lelling. “Beyond terrifying the victims, these incidents caused law enforcement agencies around the country to spend time and money deploying emergency response units. Thankfully, the white powder in these letters was inert and no one was harmed. This does not change the fact that the defendant allegedly used the internet, the U.S. Mail, and popular fears of biological weapons to threaten and frighten people who did not share his views, and that is something we will prosecuted accordingly.”
Vanessa Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and family.
An investigation by the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force resulted in allegations that Frisiello send the letters containing white powder from the Boston area, requiring emergency responses around the country. FBI Special Agent Harold H. Shaw was quoted in a press releasing: "While we determined that the mailings did not contain toxins or poison, each of these incidents required a significant law enforcement response, a field screening of the letter’s contents, and a methodical analysis by FBI weapons of mass destruction and laboratory experts. All this comes at a cost to taxpayers’ money and diverted first responders and other limited resources away from actual emergencies.”
It is alleged that the first envelope was addressed to “DonalD trump Jr,” the son of President Trump, and was postmarked in Boston on Feb. 7, 2018. The following printed message was in the envelope:
- You are an awful, awful person, I am surprised that your father lets you speak on TV. You make the family idiot, Eric, look smart. This is the reason why people hate you, so you are getting what you deserve. So shut the **** UP!
Interim U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California Nicola T. Hanna received the second envelope, which was also postmarked in Boston on Feb. 7, 2018. The envelope contained an unknown suspicious white powder, which spilled out when it was opened. The letter inside the envelope bore the following printed message:
- That’s for murdering Mark Salling! I Hope you end up the same place as Salling.
As alleged in court documents, Mark Salling, who committed suicide in January 2018, was a defendant in a child pornography case being prosecuted by Hanna’s office.
Subsequent envelopes containing threatening letters were mailed to Michele Dauber, a Professor of Law at Stanford University; U.S. Senator Deborah Stabenow of Michigan; and Antonio Sabato Jr., who is running for a congressional seat in California.
- "I'm surprised that olive skin mouth isn't orange," said the letter to Sabato. "You and McCain Jr. belong together in hell, because that is where you're going not Christian heaven."
The letter to Prof. Dauber referred to her work to recall Judge Aaron Persky, who gave Stanford University student Brock Turner a light sentence for sexual assault. "Since you are going to disrobe Persky, I am going to treat you like Emily Doe." the letter to Dauber said. "Let's see what kind of sentence I get for being a rich white male."
For each envelope that was opened, a hazardous material response was required by law enforcement.
Investigators found that Professor Dauber was also sent a “glitter bomb.” A glitter bomb is a letter containing glitter sent to an unsuspecting individual that, when opened, spills out onto the recipient. Law enforcement traced financial records to Frisiello who ordered and paid for the glitter bomb to be delivered to Professor Dauber. Furthermore, on Feb. 21, 2018, agents recovered trash from Frisiello’s residence that appeared to contain remnants of the cut-out messages that Frisiello allegedly sent to the victims.
The charge of mailing a threat to injure the person of another provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, 10 years in prison for threats addressed to a federal official, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of false information and hoaxes provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.