Texas woman accused of mailing bombs to Obama, governor
The evidence against a Texas woman accused of sending homemade bombs to President Obama and the governor of Texas includes a cell phone, a cigarette package, a salad dressing cap and, authorities say, some very distinctive cat hair.
Julia Poff faces six charges after she was indicted earlier this month. Federal authorities said in court filings that she sent very dangerous explosive devices to President Obama, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and the Social Security Administration in October 2016.
Abbott opened his package, but the device didn’t explode because “he did not open it as designed,” a court filing from her detention hearing says. The bomb could have caused severe burns or death, the court document says.
Poff entered a plea of not guilty at the detention hearing. She was arraigned in the Southern District of Texas on Tuesday.
CNN called the public defender representing Poff on Thursday but didn’t get an immediate response.
The package sent to the White House was detected during screening. It contained a cell phone that belonged to a different person whose last name is also Poff, according to the detention order.
Authorities linked Julia Poff to the case through a damaged shipping label found on a box that Poff allegedly reused to send Abbott’s package, the court documents say.
The package opened by Abbott also contained a cap from a Ken’s salad dressing bottle. The filings say witnesses said Poff bought the same kind of dressing for an anniversary dinner.
The cigarette box had a Texas tobacco stamp on it that indicated the seller was a store where Poff had purchased cigarettes and soft drinks. In Texas, sellers put the stamps on the bottom of each pack to show state cigarette tax has been paid.
The two incendiary powders in the box matched materials found in Poff’s home.
Investigators also found cat hair under the shipping label for the Obama package. Tests show the hair was consistent with the hair of one of her cats, authorities allege.
CNN called numbers listed for Julia Poff but didn’t get an answer nor any replies.
Poff allegedly told a federal investigator she didn’t like Obama. She also said, according to the court documents, that she was upset with Abbott.
A judge ruled earlier this month that Poff was a flight risk. She is in federal custody.
A representative for the Obamas had no comment.
CNN called the governor’s office but didn’t get a reply.