Siloam Springs Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Mailing White Powder and Threatening Letters
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 06, 2013|
FAYETTEVILLE, AR—Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Philip G. Hanson, age 56 of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, was sentenced to 15 years after being convicted on September 13, 2012, on 26 counts of mailing threatening communications and 30 counts of mailing white powder causing evacuations of an elementary school, several banks, a post office, and a business. Hanson was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $65,841 in restitution. Chief U.S. District Court Judge, Jimm Larry Hendren, presided over the sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Eldridge, commented, “This defendant’s conduct terrorized numerous individuals, businesses, the community of Siloam Springs, and others throughout Northwest Arkansas. Among those affected were 400 children at Northside Elementary School and their families—all of whom were victimized by the defendant’s actions. We are committed to aggressively investigating and prosecuting those who target our communities in order to cause fear and harm.”
“The prevention of a weapon of mass destruction incident is among the FBI’s highest priorities,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Randall C. Coleman. “It is often difficult for us to measure progress in our efforts to prevent such an incident, as we cannot quantify things such as lives saved or the absence of damage. Today’s sentence, however, is a measure of that success. I am thankful for the investigators and prosecutors in this case whose outstanding work made today’s success possible.”
The guilty verdict in September followed a four-day trial where testimony revealed that Hanson sent threatening letters and white powder through the U.S. Postal Service in October 2011 to various individuals at DaySpring Card Co., Siloam Springs Police Department, Herald Leader Newspaper, Arvest Bank, Bank of Siloam Springs, Simmons First Bank, Liberty Bank of Arkansas, Northside Elementary School, Siloam Springs High School, Simmons Foods Inc., Allen Inc., all in Siloam Springs, Arkansas; Har-Ber High School and Springdale High School, both in Springdale, Arkansas; Fayetteville High School, in Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Bentonville High School in Bentonville, Arkansas.
This investigation was led by the FBI in conjunction with the Siloam Springs Police Department, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Postal Inspector. Agencies assisting with the investigation and emergency response efforts include Siloam Springs Fire Department, Bentonville Fire Department, Fayetteville Fire Department, the Arkansas State Health Department, and the Arkansas State Crime Lab.
First Assistant United States Attorney Wendy Johnson and United States Attorney Conner Eldridge prosecuted the case for the United States.