Julia Poff, 46, allegedly tried to blow up Obama
A fireworks shop worker has been accused of trying to assassinate Barack Obama and Texas governor Greg Abbott by sending them explosive packages.
Julia Poff, 46, was charged after hair that was ‘microscopically consistent’ with her cat was found on the label on Obama’s parcel.
She allegedly sent the booby-trapped packages from a mail drop box in Brookshire, just outside Houston in October 2016.
Abbott opened his packaged in his mansion but it failed to explode while Obama’s package and a third sent to the Social Security Administration didn’t get past security screening.
Abbott’s package was 8x7x2 inches and contained a small box inside a large box.
It was booby-trapped with smokeless powder used to reload guns, pyrotechnic powder used in fireworks and a hobby fuse.
But it failed to explode because Abbott did not open it in the right way, KPRC reports.
An investigator said that if it exploded, the package could cause ‘a very large flash that could induce severe burns and lots of severe injury and possibly death.’
Abbott (pictured) opened his packaged in his mansion but it failed to explode while Obama’s package and a third sent to the Social Security Administration didn’t get past security screening
US Postal Service inspectors traced the packages to Poff after finding a half-destroyed label bearing hear name on Abbott’s package.
When searching her home, they discovered fireworks and reloading equipment, as well as a pair of latex gloves.
One of Poff’s previous jobs was working at a fireworks stand for years, investigators added.
Investigators say she targeted Abbott because he was Texas attorney general when she was denied child support benefits and Obama because she simply didn’t like him.
Poff pleaded not guilty to mailing ‘injurious articles,’ and the ‘transportation of explosives with intent to kill and injure,’ at a detention hearing in Texas last week.
In the hearing an investigator was asked about how the devices were meant to work.
He said: ‘It means it’s booby-trapped. It means that the victim that opens the package has to take certain action for it to detonate.
US Postal Service inspectors found a half-destroyed label bearing Poff’s name on Abbott’s package and her cat’s hair on Obama’s
‘Who was it addressed to?’ a prosecutor asked.
‘It was addressed to Governor Abbott… Governor Abbott opened the package,’ the investigator said.
Former fireworks shop worker Poff wrote on Facebook that she is being framed. Her lawyer declined to comment.
‘Julia posted on the group, “If the FBI tries to contact anyone, don’t talk to them and let me know you’ve been contacted,”‘ an investigator said.
Poff, who denies the charges, is due back in court for her trial in January. She was remanded in custody until then over fears she is a danger to the community and a flight risk.
She is also charged with fraud of the SNAP food stamps program and making a false bankruptcy declaration.