Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s campaign staff reported receiving suspicious material in mail delivered to campaign headquarters.
Phoenix Police Department officers “responded to a found property call at an office building near 40th Street and Camelback Road,” said a department spokesman, according to a Fox News report.
“When officers arrived, they learned there were suspicious items located inside the mail,” wrote Phoenix police Sgt. Phil Krynsky in an email. “Additional resources responded to collect the items and secure the area. There have been no reports of injury and the investigation remains active.”
Reports said a white powdery substance had been found in packages sent to Lake’s office.
If the packages were delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, the powdery substance is almost assuredly not anthrax. After mail containing anthrax was delivered by postal workers to legislators, politicians and media in 2001, the government instructed the Postal Service to address the threat.
“The Postal Service began testing automated anthrax detection equipment after the anthrax-by-mail attacks of October 2001,” a Postal Service spokesperson said in a statement. “Working with the CDC and other federal agencies, the USPS tested more than 20 systems before settling on a system built by Northrop Grumman, according to USPS news releases.”
The sophisticated Biohazard Detection System employed by the Postal Service uses DNA matching to detect the presence of anthrax in mail. That system was rolled out nationwide in 2004, the agency stated.
“Since the deployment of the BDS at all 321 Postal plants in the nation, there have been no positive alerts for anthrax,” according to information on the Postal Service’s website.
Law enforcement have not issued many details about the incident yet.
“The items were suspicious in nature and remains under investigation,” Krynsky said. “Our patrol units were there until approximately 5 a.m.”
Reports initially said FBI agents and Phoenix police officers responded to the scene in hazmat suits, according to the Fox report.
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