BEVERLY, Mass. (WHDH) – A Beverly man is facing federal charges after authorities said he sent a letter in February to Donald Trump Jr. that contained white powder and a message that said “you’re an awful person.”
The U.S. Attorney’s office announced Thursday that Daniel Frisiello, 24, was arrested in connection with the incident, which turned out to be a hoax. He was arraigned Thursday afternoon in Worcester and ordered held without bail.
The letter was mailed to the New York City home of Trump’s wife Vanessa. The letter said Trump Jr. was getting what he “deserved.”
“You are an awful person, awful person, I am surprised your father lets you speak on TV. You make the family idiot, Eric, look smart. This is the reason people hate you, so you are getting what you deserve,” said the letter.
The substance in the letter turned out to be cornstarch but it prompted a large hazmat response.
The letter was opened by Vanessa Trump, who called 911 and reported she was coughing and felt nauseous. She was hospitalized briefly.
Frisiello was arrested Thursday morning at his home. He is charged with threatening to injure by mail and false information and hoaxes.
A criminal complaint indicates Frisiello also sent letters to four prominent individuals around the country.
A letter sent to U.S. Attorney Nikola Hanna, of California, blamed her for the death of Mark Salling. Salling, a former television star, took his own life before he was set to face child pornography charges.
Another letter was sent to Stanford Law professor Michele Dauber, who was involved in an effort to recall a judge in the Brock Turner rape case.
Investigators say Frisiello also targeted Michigan Sen. Deborah Stabbenow, who said it is too bad court officers stopped a Michigan man from punching disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar.
The final letter was mailed to Antonio Sabato Jr., an actor who is running for congress and a documented supporter of the president.
All of the letters were said to be postmarked in Boston on Feb. 7, 2018. None of them had return addresses.
The complaint also described how they were able link Frisiello to the letters. Investigators said they were able to retrieve receipts and evidence from Frisiello’s trash, linking him to the purchase of stamps and tape used in the letters.
A “glitter bomb” sent to Dauber contained a message similar to the message contained in the white powder envelope she was sent, according to the complaint. A “glitter bomb” is a joke in which someone sends an envelope containing glitter to someone else that then spills out and creates a mess upon opening. The bomb sent to Dauber was sent by a company called shipyourenemiesglitter.com.
The owner of the company confirmed that the person who ordered the glitter bomb to Dauber was named Daniel Frisello. It was later determined that it was paid for with Frisiello’s credit card.
FBI agents, Joint Terrorism Task Force agents and Beverly Police sealed off Frisiello’s neighborhood as they executed a search warrant at his home.
“He’s a very much overwhelmed young man who has got some issues and some difficulties that he’s been dealing with through his life.,” said Frisiello’s attorney Scott Gleason. He added that his client has mental health issues.
Frisiello, who works for Catholic Charities in Peabody, has been placed on leave following his arrest. Frisiello is due back in court on March 5.
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