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Iowa Man Sentenced to 2 ½ Years in Prison for Providing False Information Related to Terrorist Hoax

November 10, 2011

Rock Island, Ill. – U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid today sentenced a Bettendorf, Iowa, man, Don Lawrence Asheim, to serve 30 months (2 ½ years) in federal prison for providing false information related to a terrorist hoax in Moline in April 2010. Asheim, 60, of the 2500 block of Devils Glen Road, was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,585, and to reimburse the Moline Fire Department in the amount of $4,627, for response and clean up expenses. Asheim was ordered to report to the federal Bureau of Prisons on Jan. 17, 2012, to begin serving his sentence. Upon completion of his prison sentence, Asheim was ordered to remain on supervised release for three years.

On June 10, 2011, 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 IRS. 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.

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 was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John K. Mehochko.

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