-- The FBI says that suspicious letters and packages sent to government offices throughout Oregon don't appear to contain any hazardous materials, despite some initial concern.
The FBI, Oregon State Police and U.S. Postal Inspection Service are working "to determine the origin and nature" of about 20 letters sent to Oregon sheriffs or their offices, the FBI said in a statement today. The pieces of mail began arriving Monday.
By this afternoon, the FBI said it had found "no evidence of a visible powder to be found in any" of the letters.
In addition, field testing by hazardous materials crews "has shown NO toxic substance on any letter or in any envelope," the FBI said in the statement.
Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer was taken to the hospital on Monday night after opening up one piece of mail and developing a rash on his arms. But he was released within hours, according to KGW-TV in Portland.
Efforts to reach Palmer were not successful.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office, meanwhile, had to be evacuated because of a suspicious package. About 60 people had to leave once it was noticed. At least two county courthouses in the state were also evacuated.
The FBI and U.S. Postal Service are assisting local officials as they work to determine precisely what substance was sent through the mail system, and who sent it. Officials said at least 10 letters appeared to be from the same person.
Nevertheless, the state police are urging the public to look out for any mail "that has excessive postage, no return address, excessive tape to secure [it], misspelled words … strange odors, and oily stains, discolorations, [or] crystallization" on the packaging.