Man pleads guilty to mailing powder to Stanford professor, others

FBI, police investigated envelope received during Recall Persky campaign

A Massachusetts man agreed Friday to plead guilty to mailing six threatening letters containing suspicious white powder to several public figures across the country, including Stanford University law professor and Palo Alto resident Michele Dauber.

Daniel Frisiello, 25, of Beverly, Massachusetts, agreed to plead guilty to 13 counts of mailing a threat to injure the person of another and six counts of false information and hoaxes, according to an announcement by the U.S. Attorney's Office District of Massachusetts.

In March, Frisiello was arrested and charged with five counts of mailing a threat to injure and five counts of false information and hoaxes. He has since remained in home detention under restrictions, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Frisiello mailed 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.

At the time, Dauber was chairing the high-profile campaign to recall Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky. She received on campus an envelope with white powder and a note that 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."

Dauber said Saturday that she is "relieved that it appears that there has been a resolution in this case, and I think it's important to let the process work."

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.

A federal investigation — conducted by the FBI Boston Division's Joint Terrorism Task Force led by members of the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Secret Service and the Beverly Police Department — found additional evidence that showed that Frisiello had sent multiple threatening letters to other victims, including two letters in 2015 to the manager of a Massachusetts company that had recently terminated one of Frisiello's family members, and five letters in 2016 and 2017 to members of law enforcement in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Frisiello will potentially see serious prison time for his crimes. The charge of mailing a threat to injure the person of another provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, or 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.


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1 person likes this
Posted by resident
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 8, 2018 at 2:41 pm

What was his motive? Does he have ties to any known domestic terrorist organization?

18 people like this
Posted by Oh Well
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 8, 2018 at 2:57 pm

> What was his motive?

Considering the broad range of his targets...just another 'wack-job'.

53 people like this
Posted by hmmm
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2018 at 5:26 pm

Wow, you couldn't find two more different people than Professor Dauber and D Trump Jr. We need universal healthcare, there is just too much unchecked mental illness.

9 people like this
Posted by LaDoris should apologize
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 9, 2018 at 7:27 am

[Post removed.]

Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 10, 2018 at 1:27 pm

I disagree with Michele Landis Dauber on this matter but respect her immensely. ( I voted against the recall)
I would not speculate on the motives of the accused..

Generally I am more concerned with rights of the accused, and the implementation of Gideon versus Wainwright, than weak sentencing.
That maybe tangential to the Turner case but as knowledgeable observers have pointed out here and in other forums, The probation. Itself is punishment and could trigger more jaul time.

2 people like this
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 13, 2018 at 12:45 am

And let us reflect on former Judge Cordell's "judgement", or rather cheap slander that this had all the hallmarks of something staged. Apology?

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

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