Cat Hair Evidence Led to Arrest of Woman Accused of Mailing Bombs to Texas Governor and U.S. President

cat hair evidence

A Texas woman is accused of mailing potentially deadly homemade bombs to then-President Barack Obama as well Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in 2016 last year. She was arrested due to evidence that included cat hair, a cigarette box and a partially destroyed shipping label.

Julia Poff, a 46-year-old woman, is accused of mailing the dangerous devices in October 2016, reported the New York Daily News.

She allegedly mailed the explosive devices in October 2016, as well as a third package sent to the Social Security Administration in Maryland, according to an indictment.

News reports stated only Abbott opened his package. However, it failed to detonate because he did not open it as designed, according to court documents.

Poff was indicted by a grand jury this month on six counts. They include transporting explosives with the intent to kill and injure and mailing injurious articles, according to documents filed in district court in Houston.

An improvised explosive device sent to Abbott contained a cellphone, a cigarette packet and a salad dressing cap, a document from a Nov. 17 detention hearing states. Similar devices were sent to Obama and the Social Security Administration.

Federal investigators were able to trace the package sent to Obama to Poff because of cat hair found under an address label, a detention hearing court document stated.

The hair was compared by an FBI crime lab to the hair of two of Poff’s cats and found to be “microscopically consistent” with the fur of one of the animals, the court filing stated.

The improvised explosive device sent to the Texas Governor bore an obliterated shipping label addressed to Poff, a court document said.

A cigarette box used in the device sent to Abbott also contained telltale evidence because it bore a Texas tobacco stamp identifying the store where the cigarettes were bought. Poff’s bank card records also showed a purchase of cigarettes at the same store, the Daily News reported.

Investigators said incendiary powders in the box matched materials recovered Poff’s home, according to federal court documents.

A potential motive was put forward by a federal agent who claimed at the hearing Poff was angry with Abbott because she received no support from her ex-husband when he was Texas Attorney General, before his election to governor in 2014.

Poff’s application for social security benefits was denied, according to reports. News reports said she sent the package to Obama because she did not like him. She remained incarcerated.

If you are charged with a federal crime of this nature, you are likely to be facing a long term in prison if convicted. It’s vital to hire an experienced federal crimes defense attorney as soon as possible.

At Broden & Mickelsen, LLP, we are experienced Dallas criminal defense lawyers are dedicated to providing aggressive and ethical representation to individuals and businesses charged with crimes.