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Powder causes scare in public defender’s office

Law enforcement officers evacuated the public defender’s office on Edmunds Boulevard in Halifax on Wednesday afternoon after an employee opened an envelope addressed to Commonwealth’s Attorney Kim White that contained a suspicious powdery substance.

White said an employee in the public defender’s office was opening mail Wednesday afternoon around 1:30 and opened two envelopes addressed to White but delivered to the public defender’s office. One of the envelopes contained a suspicious powder, she said.

White said her office was notified, and she then contacted the state police. Authorities closed down the public defender’s office while law enforcement officers investigated the incident, she added.

Virginia State Police Special Agent Troy LaRue said the state police CCI (Counter Terrorism and Criminal Interdiction) team and investigators with the U.S. Postal Service were called to the scene shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday.

“They collected two letters and sent them to the lab in Richmond for examination,” LaRue said.

Both White and LaRue confirmed Thursday the state lab determined the substance to be non-hazardous.

 

Read more on the investigation in Friday's edition of The Gazette-Virginain