Two Washington County residents, including a juvenile, were taken into custody after being accused of blowing up a mailbox.

Dustin Michael Hunter
(Washington Co. Jail)

According to a release from Washington County Sheriff Otto Hanak, deputies responded to a home in the 4000 block of FM 332, southwest of Brenham, just before midnight Thursday.

Deputies met with the homeowner, who told them that unidentified suspects had placed an explosive device inside his roadside mailbox, causing a loud explosion and total loss to the mailbox.  The suspects then fled the location in a vehicle.

Deputies followed up on information provided and identified the suspects as 19-year-old Dustin Michael Hunter and a 16-year-old.  After obtaining an arrest warrant, authorities arrested Hunter on Monday for Criminal Mischief.  He was booked into the Washington County Jail with bond set at $1,500.

The juvenile was also charged with Criminal Mischief and taken to Washington County Juvenile Probation.

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  1. “Mailboxes are protected by federal law, and crimes against them and the mail they contain are considered a federal offense. Violators can be fined up to $250,000 or imprisoned for up to three years for each act of vandalism.”

    While I’m sure both suspects and their families and many other people would plead that ‘they did not know that the penalties were so severe’, maybe the prosecution of these two would open others’ eyes to the law. Since the one suspect is an adult, a year or so in prison and a fine of $100,000 might get him reset onto the straight and narrow path. The other is a minor, and maybe 6 or 8 months in a juvenile facility and a fine of $20,000 might be useful.

  2. This case should also be referred to the United States Postal Inspection Service with reference to 18 USC 1705: Destruction of letter boxes or mail. Also, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives may have an interest in this case as well.

  3. According to federal law (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1705), it is “a crime to vandalize mailboxes (or to injure, deface or destroy any mail deposited in them). Violators can be fined up to $250,000, or imprisoned for up to three years, for each act of vandalism.”. With that in mind, and understanding that the suspects were juveniles, it may be a better lesson if the parents were to be subject to the fine and see if that makes a difference in both families’ understanding of the law. And before anyone says that the ‘federal government has too much control,’ Texas does not have a postal system for reasons that should be obvious.

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