A Texas woman has been indicted before a grand jury this week for building bombs. 46-year-old Julia Poff built at least three improvised bombs using a cellphone, a cigarette box, and also a salad dressing cap in October 2016. One bomb was sent to former President Barack Obama, another to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and yet another to Social Security Administration offices in Washington, D.C.
Of those three explosive packages, none were opened save one opened by Abbott. The only thing that kept the package from detonating was because Abbott “did not open it as designed,” according to documents filed with the court. A pretrial conference is scheduled for early next year as they prepare for trial.
Poff was officially indicted for her crimes in a district court in Houston this week on six counts, including mailing injurious articles and transporting explosives with the intent to kill and injure. The court said that because the evidence against Poff was so strong, it enhanced Poff’s chances of becoming a flight risk. It also said she represented a safety risk to the community.
A federal agent testified that Poff sent a bomb to Obama simply because she did not like the president at a detention hearing on November 17. The agent’s testimony also revealed that Poff was infuriated with Abbott because she had not received support from her ex-husband during the time Abbott served as the Attorney General for the state of Texas prior to his election as governor in 2014.
Julia Poff, from Sealy, is accused of mailing @BarackObama @GovAbbott and the former @SocialSecurity commissioner boxes packed with explosives. Court documents say the Governor opened the box himself but thankfully opened it wrong. #khou11 pic.twitter.com/zx9wkJ468a
— Brett Buffington (@BrettKHOU) November 23, 2017
According to documents filed with the court, Poff’s application for social security benefits was denied, which is what prompted her ire against the Social Security Administration. The documents also detail how investigators traced the package sent to Obama back to Poff all due to a cat hair found under the address label affixed to the package upon mailing.
Investigators also detailed how they investigated the cigarette box used in the device sent to Abbot’s office and identified it by the Texas tobacco stamp, using it trace its purchase back to the store where the cigarettes were sold. Two different incendiary powders in the cigarette box were a direct match to materials found located in Poff’s home. Poff is being held at the Houston Federal Detention Center currently.
Julia Poff was indicted in federal court this month for a trio of 2016 mail bombs, including a botched explosive stuffed in a cigarette pack that failed to detonate when the governor opened it.https://t.co/QZH7pWmFXh
— Robert Downen (@RobDownenChron) November 24, 2017
A simple criminal background check reveals that Poff is quite a piece of work. She has a misdemeanor conviction for theft as well as a conviction for state felony fraud. She was given probation as punishment for both crimes. She also tried to learn the identity of witnesses who spoke to the FBI as well as the grand jury. She also asked her friends not to speak to the FBI. She had been fired from her job at a law firm because she had stolen money from a client.
Court documents reveal that Poff had been evicted some seven times for nonpayment of rent, leaving the premises in disrepair due to such malicious actions as pouring concrete down the drains, stuffing potatoes in toilets, and leaving dogs locked inside the premises for a week to defecate and urinate all over the floors.