PHOENIX — Two suspicious envelopes were found Wednesday at the offices of Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). The first two floors of the offices near 22nd Street and Camelback Road were evacuated for almost two hours before occupants were allowed to return.
Inspection by the Postal Service revealed nothing harmful in the envelopes. A police officer who had been around the substance was taken to the hospital as a precaution but is otherwise fine.
The envelopes contained an oily substance, according to Phoenix Fire. Two hazmat teams, FBI, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents and firefighters responded to the incident.
Phoenix Police said they were told by office staff that the envelopes looked “suspicious.” “That’s all we know,” said Sgt. Tommy Thompson. “(The envelopes) are secured.”
This will be the fifth suspicious letter or package sent to U.S. politicians, including President Barack Obama, around the country in two days.
Flake is in Washington. He posted his thoughts about the bipartisan immigration reform bill to his Facebook page about an hour before discovery of the letter was made public.
Flake’s Valley offices are across the street from those of Sen. John McCain’s. A spokesman for McCain said authorities have told the staff not to open any packages.
The FBI has confirmed the letters sent to the president and Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi are related and are both postmarked out of Memphis, Tenn., dated April 8. Those letters tested positive for the poisonous substance ricin.
A Michigan senator also announced Wednesday that his regional office had received a suspicious letter.
As a precaution, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office headquarters in downtown Phoenix will leave all mail unopened for the time being.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio was recently the intended recipient of an explosive device that was discovered by a Flagstaff postal worker. The device was disguised as a package.