Man charged with sending explosive powder to Alexandria building

Man charged with sending explosive powder to Alexandria building
Mark Center (File photo)

By Alexa Epitropoulos |

A Washington state man has been charged after allegedly sending explosive powder to more than a dozen metro Washington D.C. locations, including one in Alexandria.

Thanh Cong Phan, a resident of Everett, Washington, made an initial appearance in the U.S. District Court on Tuesday after being charged with shipping of explosive materials, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Phan was arrested Monday after numerous government agencies received packages containing small amounts of black explosive powder. One of the packages was addressed to the Mark Center Building in Alexandria.

Other packages were addressed to the White House, the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters, Fort Belvoir, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Fort Lesley J. McNair, the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, the Naval Surface Warfare Center and the National Security Agency, according to the FBI. The packages haven’t exploded or caused any injuries at this time.

Phan was identified as a suspect after a U.S. Postal Service inspector traced the tracking information on a package to a self-service kiosk in the Mill Creek, Washington post office. Surveillance photos led to the identification of Phan, who has a history of corresponding with various government agencies. The writings found in the recent packages were similar to correspondence he previously sent.

Phan was also known to police because of these writings and his frequent contact with the 911 emergency dispatch system.

Phan, if found guilty, could face up to ten years in prison for shipping explosive materials.

The investigation, conducted jointly by the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection service and the U.S. Secret Service, is still in the midst of locating and isolating all the packages.