Man charged for mailing white powder to Stanford professor, others

Michele Dauber received threat on Feb. 14

A federal investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Massachusetts man accused of mailing white powder and threatening messages to five public figures, including Stanford University law professor Michele Dauber and President Donald Trump's son.

The U.S. Attorney's Office announced the arrest of Daniel Frisiello, 24, at a press conference Thursday morning.

Frisiello, of Beverly, Massachusetts, is accused of mailing five envelopes with white powder in early February to Dauber, Donald Trump, Jr., a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, a Michigan senator and an actor running for Congress.

Dauber, who is leading the campaign to recall Judge Aaron Persky, who sentenced Stanford swimmer Brock Turner for sexual assault, received on Feb. 14 an envelope with white powder and a note. The message stated: "Since you are going to disrobe Persky, I am going to treat you like 'Emily Doe,'" referencing the victim in the Turner case. "Let's see what kind of sentence I get for being a rich white male.”

Stanford's Department of Public Safety temporarily shut down two rooms at the law school while emergency personnel investigated the matter and tested the substance. Santa Clara County hazardous material personnel quickly confirmed it was an inert powder that posed no health concern.

Internet searches about the five envelope recipients allowed federal investigators to link Frisiello to an item he allegedly mailed to Dauber in early February, prosecutors said. It contained the same message as she received on Feb. 14 and glitter, sent from a website called "," according to a federal affidavit. The owner of the website confirmed his company had sent the message to Dauber on or around Feb. 5 and that Frisiello had ordered the item.

"Tracing back the internet usage and payment details for the purchase and mailing of that item allowed investigators to find Mr. Frisiello," Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, said Thursday.

Information on Frisiello's Facebook page and items found in trash discarded from his home corroborated the "internet and financial records," Lelling said.

FBI Boston's Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Frisiello without incident on Thursday as he was headed to work, Peter Kowenhoven, assistant special agent in charge of the counterterrorism program in the FBI's Boston Division, said at the press conference.

Frisiello faces 10 charges: five counts of mailing a threat to injure another person and five counts of false information and hoaxes.

In a statement, Dauber said she is "relieved that an arrest has been made" and that "it's important to allow the criminal process to work."

No one was physically hurt in any of the powder incidents, prosecutors said. While the majority of the more than 250 white-powder letter incidents the FBI has investigated in the last two years were hoaxes, the agency plans to "aggressively prosecute these kinds of cases to deter other people who might be tempted to do the same thing," Lelling said.


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7 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 1, 2018 at 3:16 pm

What is the motive? Is he a front for the Russian trolls?

6 people like this
Posted by How?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2018 at 3:35 pm

How does the FBI figure this stuff out if there are no prints on the materials, because who would be dumb enough to leave prints? I haven't watched enough Forensic Files to know, but this is quite amazing.

The FBI gets bashed by the media, but people don't realize just how much they keep us safe everyday. They are intercepting every day. Sure, it's government run and not perfect, but they are doing more than people realize.

Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2018 at 3:36 pm

How about we wait and see what the investigation finds? In the meantime, if the man charged is indeed the perpetrator, I don't think it proves anything if he is left, right, or center. Just a bloke who committed a crime.

6 people like this
Posted by Didn't wait for evidence
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 1, 2018 at 3:38 pm

[Post removed.]

Like this comment
Posted by Don't blame the skeptical.
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 1, 2018 at 5:05 pm

[Post removed.]

3 people like this
Posted by FBI did not do anything brilliant
a resident of Mayfield
on Mar 1, 2018 at 5:09 pm

According to news, the brilliant was the FBI figured it out was by looking at the Glitter Bomb Dauber got before the white powder letter - it turned out the guy had actually paid for the Glitter bomb, then sent his own letter with the same message but added cornstarch No great detective work at all, the guy did not cover his tracks.

19 people like this
Posted by Law enforcement Buddy
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 1, 2018 at 5:29 pm

Great job FBI. Blue lives matter, don't listen to the fringe haters.

6 people like this
Posted by should be ashamed
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 1, 2018 at 5:51 pm

[Post removed.]

2 people like this
Posted by Nust nuts
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 1, 2018 at 7:26 pm

The guy is just nuts. He needs therapy. How about 6 sessions with Dr. Phil himself? If all goes well, maybe he could become a teacher - one of those armed teachers that would keep the school safe!

9 people like this
Posted by JoanneH
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 1, 2018 at 11:10 pm

JoanneH is a registered user.

Professor Dauber sure keeps getting a LOT of attention. Is she a marketing or journalism professor? Her name comes up just about everyday in various news outlets. Any insights? Curious.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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