Letters postmarked in Memphis could be from Mississippi - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Letters postmarked in Memphis could be from Mississippi

Posted: Updated:
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The FBI says letters sent to President Barack Obama and Senator Roger Wicker were toxic and both postmarked from Memphis.

Information is being revealed that the person who sent the letters could possibly be from Tupelo, Mississippi.

The letters sent to the Mississippi senator and the president were intercepted before they made it to the intended targets.

While the mail may have been postmarked in Memphis, a spokesperson from the U.S. Postal Service says any piece of mail from North Mississippi would have also been processed and postmarked from Memphis.

"We have been consolidating mail facilities throughout the country and Tupelo is one that went away and it was consolidated into the Memphis processing and distribution center there on Third Street," said David Walton, USPS Corporate Communications.

The spoksperson deferred any specific questions about the investigation to the FBI.

The FBI released the following statement:

A second letter containing a granular substance that preliminarily tested positive for ricin was received at an offsite mail screening facility. The envelope, addressed to the President, was immediately quarantined by U.S. Secret Service personnel, and a coordinated investigation with the FBI was initiated. It is important to note that operations at the White House have not been affected as a result of the investigation.

Additionally, filters at a second government mail screening facility preliminarily tested positive for ricin this morning. Mail from that facility is being tested.

Any time suspicious powder is located in a mail facility, field tests are conducted. The field and other preliminary tests can produce inconsistent results. Any time field tests indicate the possibility of a biological agent, the material is sent to an accredited laboratory for further analysis. Only a full analysis performed at an accredited laboratory can determine the presence of a biological agent such as ricin. Those tests are currently being conducted and generally take 24 to 48 hours.

The investigation into these letters remains ongoing, and more letters may still be received. There is no indication of a connection to the attack in Boston.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow