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 "shipyourenemiesglitter.com," 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.