A Massachusetts man has been charged with sending numerous envelopes containing abusive, threatening messages and “suspicious white powder” to Donald Trump Jr. and other public figures, federal authorities said.
Daniel Frisiello was taken into custody by the FBI “without incident” Thursday, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Peter Kowenhoven told reporters in Boston. The 24-year-old from Beverly, Massachusetts, faces five counts of mailing threatening communications and false information and hoaxes, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts.
One envelope, sent last month from Boston to the New York home of the president’s son, was filled with a white powder that spilled out “onto the addressee’s wife,” according to the complaint. Addressed to “DonalD trump Jr,” it included a note that read: “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 [expletive] up.”
Frisiello is also accused of sending racist, vulgar and verbally abusive letters to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; a Stanford law professor; a federal prosecutor; and soap star-turned-congressional aspirant Antonio Sabato. Each of those envelopes contained white powder as well, though authorities said all of the substances – including that sent to the president’s oldest son – were found to be “nonhazardous.”
Frisiello’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment on the case.
New York police said last month that a letter containing “an unidentified substance” was mailed to Donald Trump Jr.’s home and that it was opened by his wife, Vanessa.
She was taken to a hospital as a result, but Trump later said that his wife and children were “safe and unharmed.”
He also suggested at the time that the letter may have been motivated by political rancor, writing on Twitter that it was “disgusting that certain individuals choose to express their opposing views with such disturbing behavior.”
A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment.
An FBI spokeswoman said Frisiello was taken into custody early Thursday on his way to work.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Lindsey Bever