Published: Friday, November 10, 2006
Powder in mail causes alarm
WARREN A suspicious powder that fell from an envelope sent to a probation officer working at the Northeast Ohio Community Alternative Program on South Pine Street triggered a response from authorities from a variety of departments.
NEOCAP is a community-based corrections facility, but several probation officers with the Trumbull County Adult Probation Department have office space in the building.
Officials from the Warren police and fire departments, county Haz-Mat team, U.S. Postal Service and Federal Bureau of Investigations were called to assist when probation officer Vince Peterson opened the mail Wednesday and the substance fell out onto the desk. Peterson immediately called 911.
A test done on the substance by a postal inspector later, however, determined that the substance was a harmless form of talc, said Fire Chief Ken Nussle.
He said it is only the second such incident his department has been called to investigate in several years.
Until the postal inspector could arrive, the people in the area of the substance were quarantined and the building was secured, Nussle said. The incident was handled in about 31/2 hours, Nussle said.
Terrence Sullivan, a U.S. postal inspector in Cleveland, said there were no identifying marks or a return address on the envelope to indicate where it had come from. He said the powder was inside an unmarked sheet of paper.