War on Terrorism

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

White Powder Letters Received by Two Schools in the Garland Independent School District

April 6, 2010 - Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Robert E. Casey is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying the person or persons responsible for sending two letters containing a white powder substance to the Ethridge School in Garland, Texas, and John Armstrong school in Sachse, Texas.

Earlier this morning, two schools within the Garland Independent School District received letters, through the U.S. Mail, containing white powder. The Garland Police and Fire Department, along with the Sachse Police Department, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the FBI responded to the scene. Initial field testing indicated the substance within the envelopes was not toxic and there was no threat to anyone’s health or safety. Further laboratory testing is being done in an effort to identify the substance within the envelopes. One school district employee at Ethridge School, who had been exposed to the white powder, was taken to a local hospital as precautionary measure.

The sending of threatening or hoax letters containing a white powder substance is a violation of Title 18, Section 844 (e) and is punishable for up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each letter sent.

SAC Casey has previously stated, and reminds those who may be inclined to send a letter with powder in it, that sending a hoax letter threatening imminent death and containing unknown substances is a serious crime that drains precious, limited first responder resources. Today’s mailings resulted in police, fire, and hazmat teams responding to emergency calls in two separate locations, causing anxiety, disruption, and financial costs. Threatening letters, whether they contain white powder or not, even if their threat is a hoax, will be thoroughly investigated by the FBI, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and other law enforcement agencies.

Anyone having information about who may be responsible for sending these white powder hoax letters should call the Dallas FBI office at 972-559-5000 or their local police agency.

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