Daniel Frisiello
Daniel Frisiello

Man who mailed white powder to Trump’s sons gets probation

A Massachusetts man was sentenced on Friday to five years of probation after admitting he mailed threatening letters filled with a suspicious white powder to several prominent people, including U.S. President Donald Trump's sons .

Federal prosecutors in Boston had sought three years in prison for Daniel Frisiello, 25, of Beverly, Massachusetts, whose hoax letters included one in February 2018 addressed to Donald Trump Jr. Trump's then-wife, Vanessa, opened the letter and was taken to the hospital.

Investigators laterdetermined the powder sent to Trump's eldest son's home was harmless, as wasthe substance contained in an earlier letter Frisiello sent during the 2016presidential campaign to the Republican president's son Eric Trump.

US District CourtJudge Nathaniel Gorton in Boston sentenced Frisiello to five years ofprobation, with one year to be served in home detention with locationmonitoring, and restitution.

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During the periodof probation, Frisiello is prohibited from contacting victims in the case,sending letters through the mail, accessing the internet, and possessing andaccessing computers.

He pleaded guiltyin October to charges related to 13 threatening letters he mailed from 2015 to2018, six of which contained a white powder.

US authorities havebeen on alert for mail containing white powder since 2001, when envelopes lacedwith anthrax were sent to media outlets and U.S. lawmakers, killing fivepeople.

Other letterscontaining a white powder were mailed to Democratic US Senator Debbie Stabenowof Michigan and Antonio Sabato Jr, an actor who in 2018 was a Republicancandidate in California for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Frisiello also sentthreatening letters to prosecutors and police chiefs overseeing high-profilecriminal cases he objected to and a Massachusetts company that fired one of hisrelatives, prosecutors said.

The letter he sentto Trump Jr's address in Manhattan read in part, "You are an awful, awfulperson, I am surprised that your father lets you speak on TV," prosecutorssaid.

Reviews of socialmedia posts led prosecutors to view Frisiello as a suspect and a search of histrash revealed a computer printout referencing two of the people who receivedthe threatening letters, prosecutors said.

His lawyers soughtfive years of probation, saying in court papers that Frisiello haddevelopmental delays and is autistic, facts that provide "context tounderstand the genesis of his crimes and to gauge the degree of his moralculpability." 

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