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Mail Sent to Pentagon Tests Positive for Ricin

Meanwhile, 'white powdery substance' gets Ted Cruz campaign HQ placed on lockdown
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2018 2:44 PM CDT
A US flag is draped on the side of the Pentagon.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – Ricin has been detected in two pieces of mail that arrived at a Pentagon mail distribution center, defense officials announced Tuesday. The building is near, but not in, the Pentagon; the mail was addressed to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Adm. John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations. After the poison was detected, all mail received at the mail-screening facility Monday was put under quarantine, a Pentagon spokesperson says. The FBI took possession of the envelopes in question and is leading the investigation, including conducting further tests, the Wall Street Journal reports. The mail initially caused suspicions because it contained a sticky substance, per a defense official.

Also Tuesday, a package addressed to Ted Cruz's Houston campaign headquarters caused a lockdown, the AP reports. A spokesperson for the Republican senator says the package was opened in the lobby and two people—not members of Cruz's staff—were exposed to a "white powdery substance" and taken to a hospital. Their conditions were unknown. The fire department tweeted that all tests for hazardous substances came back negative. The lockdown has since been lifted. (Read more ricin stories.)

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