March 28 (UPI) — A Washington state man was charged Wednesday with shipping explosive materials to military and intelligence sites in the nation’s capital.
Thanh Cong Phan, 43, appeared in court Tuesday, just hours after multiple packages with traces of black powder were identified at mail-screening locations in the Washington, D.C., area.
The mailings were addressed to locations like the White House, the FBI and other government and military installations. None of the packages exploded or caused injuries.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Phan became a suspect when a Postal Service inspector traced the tracking information on one of the packages to a Mill Creek, Wash., post office.
Officials said surveillance photos appeared to show Phan — and writings found with at least one package were similar to previous correspondence from Phan to government agencies.
Phan, who could face as many as ten years in prison for shipping explosive materials, was arrested about 12 hours after the first suspicious package was found. A motive remains unclear.
A package at the National Defense University at Fort McNair tested positive for black powder and a subsequent X-ray revealed a GPS-related item and fuse attached it.
Others arrived at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and another defense university. Authorities said one contained liquid in a vial and a circuit board.
Suspicious items were also found at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, mail processing facilities for the White House and Central Intelligence Agency and Dahlgren Naval Air Station in Virginia.
The FBI said they don’t believe Phan’s case is related to a series of explosive package bombings in Austin, Texas, this month.