Inmate sent powder prompting Supreme Court evacuation
January 17, 2014
An envelope containing white powder and a piece of paper bearing the word "Anthrax" created a scare Thursday at the Nevada Supreme Court, but the powder was nothing more than talc.
Chief Justice Mark Gibbons confirmed the powder was nonhazardous after staffers were given the all-clear to re-enter the building after 3:30 p.m. Thursday. A Nevada inmate mailed the powder, law enforcement said.
The building was evacuated about 1 p.m. when an employee in the clerk's office opened the letter, Gibbons said. Police and hazmat teams from state, local and federal agencies were called in to secure the building.
Carson City Fire Chief Stacey Giomi gave the all-clear.
The clerk who opened the envelope and another employee who was nearby remained inside the building during the evacuation; paramedics checked them out.
After the building was cleared, the ventilation system was shut down to prevent the potential spread of any dangerous agent through the three-story structure, Giomi said.
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The court employs between 125 and 150 people. After about an hour standing outside the building, Gibbons told everyone who had their car keys with them that they could go home for the day.
Staffers were told Thursday afternoon to report to work as normal Friday, Gibbons said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken over the investigation.