Judge Targeted in White Powder Letter Scare

Envelope contained threatening letter, baking soda, Dallas County Judge says

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Dallas County official says a white powder letter sent to a judge was threatening, but contained only baking soda.

    A Dallas County official says a white powder letter sent to a judge was threatening, but contained only baking soda.

    The powder was found inside an envelope just before 9 a.m. Monday after the letter was opened by a clerk on the 6th floor of the Frank Crowley Criminal Courts Building.

    DFR Investigates White Powder Letter

    [DFW] DFR Investigates White Powder Letter
    Lt. Jason Evans with Dallas Fire-Rescue updates the media on a white powder letter found at the Frank Crowley Criminal Courts Building in Dallas, Monday, April 9, 2012.

    Dallas-Fire Rescue was called to the scene and determined the material was not toxic.

    Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told NBC 5 that the envelope contained a threatening letter and baking soda. Jenkins added that the letter was sent to a judge by someone in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system and that officials know who sent the letter and where it came from.

    Jenkins did not say which judge was targeted.

    “Everybody did exactly what they’ve been trained to do. The clerk opened the letter, saw the suspicious powder, called the fire department and sheriff. Dallas County Fire Marshal, Dallas HAZMAT, our Department of Homeland Security and the FBI were all notified," Jenkins said. “Within an hour, the substance was identified.  It was a textbook example of doing it right.”

    There were no evacuations of the building, though four people who were in the immediate area of the letter when it was opened were isolated until the material could be analyzed and they could be examined by medical personnel.

    The four showed no ill effects from exposure to the material and were cleared to go about their day.

    The FBI is now assisting in the investigation.

    NBC 5's Deborah Ferguson and Ben Russell contributed to this report.