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Press Release

Southwick Man Sentenced for Sending Threatening Letters and White Powder to Federal Agencies in Springfield

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Southwick man was sentenced today in federal court in Springfield for sending two packages containing white powder to federal agencies in Springfield.

Kevin A. Johnson, 48, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni to time served in prison (almost 15 months) and three years of supervised release. In November 2019, Johnson pleaded guilty to two counts of conveying false information and hoaxes. Johnson was arrested on Nov. 30, 2018.

Between July and November 2018, FBI’s Springfield Office and the Springfield Social Security Administration Office (SSA Springfield), collectively received three packages containing either threatening communications and/or suspicious substances. The Springfield Branch Office of the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office received a letter from an individual claiming responsibility for sending the packages. All of the packages contained a piece of white-lined paper with a hand-drawn logo that appeared to combine the “anarchist A” symbol (the capital letter “A” surrounded by the letter “O”) and the symbol for ISIS, a foreign terrorist organization. Two of the packages contained suspicious white powder.

On July 23, 2018, security cameras at the FBI Springfield Office captured an individual throwing a manila envelope at the front door. The package contained a handwritten note saying: “Death to TRUMP.”

On Oct. 23, 2018, SSA Springfield received a package containing white powder and a handwritten letter stating, among other things: “FOR ALLAH YOU DIE, ATHENA KNOWS YOUR LIES, DEATH TO YOU TRAITORS, AND THE FU----- FBI.” 

On Oct. 24, 2018, the FBI Springfield Office received a package through the mail addressed to “AGENT UNCLE HAM.” The package contained white powder and a handwritten note stating: “FOR ALLAH YOU DIE, ATHENA KNOWS YOUR LIES, DEATH TO THE N.O.R.A.D SPIES, AND THE FBI.” 

The white powder in the packages was found to contain no hazardous materials.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division; Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division; Stephen A. Marks, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Boston Field Division; and Southwick Police Chief Kevin A. Bishop, made the announcement today. Assistance was provided by the Western Massachusetts Joint Terrorism Task Force, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, and Holyoke Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Deepika Bains Shukla, Chief of Lelling’s Springfield Branch Office, prosecuted the case.

Updated February 25, 2020