A woman in Texas has been accused of sending homemade bombs to Texas Governor Greg Abbott and President Barack Obama in October 2016.
The ingenious attempts have been reaffirmed by prosecutors as high-level threats that could have killed or maimed both leaders.
Julia Poff, from Waller County, was indicted earlier this month on six counts as shown by Court documents that were filed in district court in Houston last week. The counts include mailing injurious articles and transporting explosives with the intent to kill and injure.
According to the records, the 46-year-old woman is being held at the Houston federal detention center. The improvised explosive device was traced by Federal investigators back to Poff because of some cat hair found under an address label. The device contained a cellphone, a cigarette package, and a salad dressing cap.
Ashley Kaper, who is Poff’s Attorney, declined to talk to an Associated Press reporter on Friday. The court documents also revealed that Abbott opened the package, but it did not explode. The documents say it could have caused severe burns and death.
Poff has pleaded not guilty after she was arraigned in the Southern District of Texas on Tuesday. She will remain in custody until her trial, which is scheduled for January. The evidence against her includes a cell phone, a cigarette package, salad dressing cap and, authorities say, some very distinctive cat hair.
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.
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.