Rowlett Man Admits Mailing More Than 400 Hoax White Powder Letters
DALLAS — A Rowlett, Texas, man, appeared today in federal court this morning before U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater and pleaded guilty to an indictment charging several federal felony offenses stemming from the hundreds of white-powder hoax letters he mailed from North Texas, announced John Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Hong Minh Truong, 67, pleaded guilty to five counts of false information and hoaxes. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the five counts. Truong, who has been in custody since July 28, 2014, is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Fitzwater on October 23, 2015.
According to the factual resume filed in the case, since December 2008, Truong mailed more than 400 hoax letters from the North Texas area to cities across the U.S. and to U.S. Embassies abroad. The initial letters, sent out on December 4, 2008, had a “Dallas, Texas” postmark and contained a white-powder substance. More than 15 batches of hoax letters were sent from the Dallas area from December 2008 to the present. In all but two batches of letters, a white-powder substance was included in the envelope.
The substance contained in the more than 400 letters in this case did not contain Anthrax; however, substantial governmental resources were expended in the response and investigation. Although each response was unique, every response involved multiple agencies dispatching personnel and equipment.
Truong mailed some of the hoax letters to the Mi Escuelita Preschool Crossover, in Dallas; Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth, Texas; the Empire State Building, in New York City; Fenway High School in Boston, Massachusetts; and the Dallas Morning News in Plano, Texas.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Errin Martin is in charge of the prosecution.