September 7, 2018 / 7:30 PM / in 2 months

U.S. man to admit to sending threatening letters to Trump's sons

BOSTON (Reuters) - A Massachusetts man has agreed to plead guilty to charges he mailed threatening letters containing a suspicious powder to several prominent people, including U.S. President Donald Trump’s sons, federal prosecutors in Boston said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Daniel Frisiello, charged with sending a series of threatening letters containing a suspicious powder, including one addressed to U.S. President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., appears in a booking photo provided by the Beverly Police Department, Massachusetts, U.S., March 1, 2018. Beverly Police Department/Handout via REUTERS

Daniel Frisiello, 25, could face seven years in prison for sending the letters, including one sent to Donald Trump Jr.’s Manhattan home that warned “you are getting what you deserve,” which caused Trump Jr.’s wife, Vanessa, to be taken to the hospital after opening it.

U.S. authorities have been on alert for mail containing white powder since 2001, when envelopes laced with anthrax were sent to media outlets and U.S. lawmakers, killing five people.

Investigators determined that the powder sent to Trump’s eldest son’s home, as well as that in letters sent to prominent Republicans, Democrats and others across the United States, was harmless.

Prosecutors on Friday said they had connected Frisiello to another letter containing white powder that was sent to the president’s son Eric Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Frisiello, of Beverly, Massachusetts, has agreed to plead guilty to 13 counts of mailing threatening communications and six counts of false information and hoaxes related to purported biological weapons, prosecutors said.

He agreed not to appeal any prison sentence of 87 months or less. His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reviews of social media posts led prosecutors to view Frisiello as a suspect, and a search of his trash revealed a computer printout referencing two of the people who received the threatening letters, prosecutors said.

The letter he sent to Trump Jr.’s address in Manhattan read in part, “You are an awful, awful person ... you are getting what you deserve,” prosecutors said in court papers.

Trump Jr. is enmeshed in an investigation of possible collusion between his father’s presidential campaign and Russia in the 2016 presidential election. The president has denied any such collusion.

Vanessa Trump in March filed for divorce.

Frisiello as far back as 2015 sent threatening letters to people including Democratic U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, actor and Republican U.S. House of Representatives candidate Antonio Sabato Jr. and to the manager of a company that fired one of his family members, prosecutors said.

Reporting by Nate Raymond; Editing by Scott Malone and Leslie Adler

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