News and Press Releases


September 13, 2012


Letters caused evacuation of elementary school, banks, a post office, and DaySpring Card Company in Siloam Springs

Fayetteville, Arkansas - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Philip G. Hanson, age 56 of Siloam Springs, Arkansas was convicted of 26 counts of mailing threatening communications and 30 counts of mailing white powder causing evacuations of an elementary school, banks, a post office, and a business. With each conviction, Hanson faces up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. Chief U. S. District Court Judge, Jim Larry Hendren, presided over the trial.

U. S. Attorney Eldridge, commented, “this case shows that when people engage in actions that terrorize individuals and communities, we will aggressively investigate and prosecute them. The white powder and threatening letters victimized numerous individuals including approximately 300 children who were evacuated at Siloam Springs Northside Elementary School. Thanks to the excellent work of law enforcement, this defendant has now been convicted”.

Hanson was originally indicted on March 6, 2012 by a federal grand jury. The case involved letters sent by Hanson 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.

Assistant United States Attorney, Wendy Johnson and United States Attorney, Conner Eldridge, prosecuted the case for the United States.
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