FBI investigates white powder mailed to Ehrlich

December 18, 2008|By Laura Smitherman

The FBI is investigating a suspicious envelope containing white powder sent to former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. The action is part of a broader probe into letters sent to more than 40 governors' offices and to 15 U.S. embassies in Europe.

Mailroom workers in the Jeffrey Building in Annapolis, where State House mail is screened, discovered the envelope yesterday morning. Maryland State Police and the Annapolis Fire Department's hazmat unit responded, and the envelope was sent to a state laboratory for testing.

Similar letters postmarked from the Dallas area and containing a note and suspicious white powder have been received by governors' offices around the country over the past 10 days. Tests for biological threats have been "negative so far," said FBI spokesman Mark White. Most of the letters were addressed to current governors. In Maryland and Alaska, the letters were sent to former governors, White said. Fifteen U.S. embassies from The Hague to Madrid have received envelopes from Texas containing white powder, authorities said.

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