FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2012
Fayetteville, Arkansas - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Phillip Hanson, of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, appeared in federal court this afternoon for arraignment on charges of Mailing Threatening Communications, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 876(c), and Communicating False Information and Hoaxes, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 175(a) and 1038(a)(1)(A). Hanson appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Erin Setser who scheduled the trial for April 11, 2012. If convicted of these charges, Hanson faces up to five years imprisonment and up to a $250,000 fine. A federal grand jury returned the fifty-seven count Indictment in this matter on March 6, 2012.
The indictment charges that on or about October 12, 2011, continuing until November 7, 2011, the defendant mailed threatening letters to 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 case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Siloam Springs Police Department, Benton County Sheriff’s Office and Fayetteville Police Department. First Assistant United States Attorney Wendy Johnson appeared in court today on behalf of the United States.
The charges in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless or until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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