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Iowa Man Pleads Guilty to Providing False Information Related to Terrorist Hoax

June 8, 2011

Rock Island, Ill. – Sentencing has been scheduled for October for a Bettendorf, Iowa, man who pled guilty today to providing false information related to a terrorist hoax in Moline in April 2010. Don Lawrence Asheim, 59, of the 2500 block of Devils Glen Road, appeared this morning before U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid in Rock Island.

Asheim entered an open plea to an indictment that charged him with placing a white powdery substance in an envelope addressed to the attention of an individual at the Internal Revenue Service. The envelope was discovered on April 30, 2010, during a routine collection of outgoing mail at the Deere & Company facility, located at 501 River Drive in Moline. As a result, the Deere facility was locked down, employees quarantined for a time, and a hazardous materials response team responded to the scene. Testing of the substance determined that the white powder was harmless.

The envelope also contained Asheim’s tax bill, which Asheim admitted he had altered to remove and obliterate his personally identifiable information to conceal his identity. Asheim further admitted that he had written various hostile and profane statements on the tax bill and placed it in the envelope in the box designated for outgoing mail at the Deere & Company facility.

Sentencing has been scheduled on October 14. The offense carries a statutory penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration - Office of Investigations; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and, the Moline Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John K. Mehochko.

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