Boise Police Department
News Release

William L. Bones
Chief of Police

Contact: BPD Media Relations Office


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

02-04-09 White Powdery Substance Hoax

02-04-09 White Powdery Substance Hoax
Hazardous Material Call an Apparent Hoax
   Boise, Feb 4, 2009. 3;40 p.m. - Boise Police have turned the investigation over to the FBI following testing from the Boise Fire Department's Hazardous Materials team that showed the white powdery substance mailed to the Ada County Assessor's office was not dangerous. Preliminary tests show the substance is likely some type of corn starch.
   At this time, approx 50 office workers who were asked to leave the Assessor's Office have returned, and the Boise Fire Haz Mat teams and Boise Police officers are clearing the scene.
   Since the substance was apparently meant to be a threatening hoax sent through the US Mail, federal authorities have jurisdiction.
Potential Hazardous Material Call
   Boise, Feb. 4, 2009, 2:38 p.m. - Boise Police and the Boise Fire Department Hazardous Materials team is investigating a white powdery substance that was found inside an envelope mailed to 190 E. Front St., the Ada County Assessors Office.
   The Fire Battalion Chief on scene says, at this point, operations are precautionary. The office where the envelope was opened has been cleared until it can be rendered safe. About 50 people work in the office.  They are still in the building, but away from the office.
   No one is showing any symptoms of illness.
   The Boise Fire Haz Mat team is running tests on the powdery substance right now (2:38 p.m.).
   More information will be released as soon as it's available.