Texas Woman Jailed for Mailing Explosives to Barack Obama After Stray Cat Hair on Box Addressed to White House Is Traced Back to Her

A woman who mailed bombs to former President Barack Obama and other officials has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

Julia Ann Poff, 48, pleaded guilty to the transportation of explosives with the intent to kill, injure and intimidate a person in July after a cat hair found under the address label on a box she mailed to the White House was traced back to her.

U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore sentenced her to a 10-year prison term followed by three years of supervised release, the U.S. Attorney's Office said on Monday. Poff was also ordered to pay $9,700 in restitution.

The sentence was handed down moments after Poff denied having anything to do with the mailed explosives. "My problem is that I have a huge heart and I'm too trusting of people," she said during her sentencing, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Poff said she and her husband, who is a co-defendant in the case, have helped many people over the years. "We had nothing to do with this. We did not do this," she added, according to the Chronicle.

But after speaking with her defense attorney, Poff apologized and added: "I'm sorry to the people I've hurt."

According to the U.S. Attorneys Office, Poff earlier admitted to mailing a package containing a homemade that was addressed to the former president in October 2016.

She also admitted sending similar packages to Texas Governor Greg Abbott. According to the Chronicle, Abbott opened the box Poff sent in September 2016, but the explosives inside didn't go off.

Poff sent Abbott the package because she was upset her ex-husband didn't send her child support, the Chronicle reported, citing court filings.

A package was also mailed to Carolyn Colvin, who was the commissioner of the Social Security Administration at the time, according to KHOU 11. Poff sent it in October 2016 after she was denied disability benefits for the third time, the Chronicle reported.

Each package contained a "victim-activated, booby-trapped" improvised explosive device, authorities said.

Prosecutors said authorities intercepted a U.S. Postal Service package at a White House mail handling facility at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington on October 6, 2016. An FBI explosives expert determined the package contained a homemade bomb after an examination.

The package was linked to Poff and her husband after a cat hair was found underneath a taped address label on the box that testing found was consistent with hairs taken from a cat belonging to the Poff family, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Poff's daughter said a cell phone that was found in the box was her old device that had last been seen in the garage of the family home in August or September 2016.

Investigators also discovered Poff had used her debit card to buy a micro-USB box with the same barcode as one found in the package.

In July, Poff said she was solely responsible for sending the packages, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Poff, of Brookshire, Texas. She will remain in custody pending a transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility, the office said.

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Former president Barack Obama speaks to guests at the Obama Foundation Summit on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology on October 29, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. A woman has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after mailing an explosive to Obama/ Scott Olson/Getty Images