Mar 04,2008 00:00
ALBANY, Ore. -- Federal and local authorities are continuing an investigation into an anthrax scare when envelopes containing a suspicious white powder were found at the Linn County Courthouse in Albany, Oregon on Monday.
Oregon National Guard’s 102nd Civil Support Team (CST), Albany Firefighters, Linn County Sheriff’s deputies, and Linn-Benton Regional Region-5 HAZMAT team members all responded to the courthouse at 300 SW 4th Avenue after workers reported finding the envelopes – one near an air conditioning unit at rear of the building’s exterior, and another in an interior office.
According to an ONG news release, initial tests suggest the samples taken contained a “sugar-like” substance, although an FBI spokesperson said definite tests will not be available for 48 hours.
Lt. Col. Steve Ferrell, 102nd CST Commander, said the unit's frequent training with simulated anthrax scenarios over the past several years has adequately prepared them to assist first-responders during the incident.
By early afternoon, a thorough sweep of the building failed to turn up any additional suspicious packages.
If the person or persons responsible for the “scare” is convicted, they face possible prosecution under federal anti-terrorism laws and civil penalties including being held financially responsible for the cost of the emergency response.