Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations
July 31, 2008: Manhattan Man Arrested for Posting Threatening Videos on the Internet Claiming to Have Poisoned Baby Food
MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, GEORGE P. HEMMER, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) Office of Criminal Investigations, New York field office, and MARK J. MERSHON, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced that ANTON DUNN, a/k/a "Trashman," was arrested today on charges that he caused videos of himself to be posted on the Internet in which he claimed to have directed others to poison Gerber baby food with the intent to kill babies. According to a criminal Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
On April 20, 2008, ANTON DUNN, calling himself "Trashman," anonymously caused a video of himself entitled "gerbersbabyfoodalert" to be posted on the website, YouTube. In the video, DUNN states that Gerber employees acting at his direction have poisoned millions of bottles of Gerber baby food, with the intent to kill babies who would consume it. DUNN further states that it is "too late" to do anything about the poisoned baby food because it has already shipped to consumers. DUNN, who calls himself "Trashman" in the video, wears a black mask which covers most of his face but leaves his eyes, nose, and mouth partially visible.
On July 24, 2008, DUNN caused another video of himself to be posted, this time on two different websites, www.worldstarhiphop.com and www.mediatakeout.com. In this video, he once again calls himself "Trashman," and wears a black mask, claiming that persons acting at his direction have poisoned 5000 bottles of Gerber baby food with cyanide. In the video, which was subsequently posted on YouTube, DUNN states that the baby food was poisoned with the intent to kill black babies, but that white babies are also likely to die as a result of the poisoning. DUNN further states that he will "never be caught," that attempts to determine his Internet Protocol address will prove useless, and that there is no point in contacting the FBI in order to apprehend him.
On July 27, 2008, DUNN caused a third video of himself to be posted on YouTube, in which he calls himself "Trashman," wears a white mask, and again states that he has poisoned Gerber baby food. In this third video, DUNN states that "the plan is in motion," and that a total of four babies have already died as a result of the poisoning, including two babies in California, one baby in Chicago, and one baby in New Jersey. DUNN further states that he will never be caught despite attempts to "rat him out," and claims to have the FBI and the police "on [his] payroll."
Since July 24, 2008, when DUNN posted his second threatening video on the Internet, Gerber has received consumer complaints expressing alarm about the safety of its baby food and alerting Gerber to DUNN's videos. According to the Complaint, Gerber has not found any evidence that its baby food has been tampered with as indicated in DUNN's "Trashman" videos, nor has the Food and Drug Administration received any reports of death or injury resulting from the consumption of Gerber baby food as described by DUNN.
DUNN has caused dozens of videos to be posted on YouTube in which he calls himself "Trashman" and wears a mask or similar disguise. In a number of these videos, he refers to acts of violence he either claims to have committed or threatens to commit. For example, in one video entitled "Hall of Dark: Pt3," posted on YouTube on April 15, 2008, DUNN refers to having killed one person with a tire iron and stabbed another to death.
ANTON DUNN is charged with one count of sending threats in interstate commerce and one count of falsely claiming to have tampered with a consumer product. If convicted on these charges, DUNN faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison on each count, for a total of 10 years’ imprisonment, and a maximum fine on each count of $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary loss or gain derived from the offense. DUNN, 42, resides in Manhattan.
ANTON DUNN will be presented later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge THEODORE H. KATZ.
Mr. GARCIA praised the work of the FDA Detroit, New York, and Chicago field offices, and the FBI in this case.
This case is being prosecuted by the Office's Major Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorney SEETHA RAMACHANDRAN is in charge of this prosecution.
The charges in the criminal Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.