White powder, threatening notes prompt scare at 4 Colorado buildings

Monday, September 25th 2006, 9:46 pm
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) _ White powder accompanied by threatening notes prompted evacuations Monday at four Denver-area buildings that house state agencies, including a state police call center.

The substances in all four cases turned out to be harmless, authorities said.

State Patrol spokesman Lance Clem said at least one of the envelopes had information that will make it ``interesting and easy to investigate,'' but he did not elaborate.

Envelopes sent to three downtown buildings contained sugar or a sugar substitute, said Fire Department spokesman Phil Champagne.

In Lakewood, about 7 miles west of downtown Denver, an employee opening a letter sent to the state Department of Agriculture came into contact with a powder, forcing the evacuation of the four-story building that houses the state patrol's Denver dispatch center, said trooper Eric Wynn, a spokesman for the state patrol.

The employee was decontaminated as a precaution.

Champagne said two Monday incidents appeared to be related but investigators don't believe there is any connection to an incident on Sunday, when workers at a Denver bank found five capsules containing a yellow powder in an envelope.

Initial tests indicated the powder was a protein and not anthrax, authorities said.

Bank employees, who were processing commercial bill payments, were scrubbed down in a decontamination tent. No injuries were reported.