TRENTON –Law enforcement officials are investigating a powdery substance in an envelope that arrived today at the Senate Majority Office andfor a short timeemptied the work area.
The envelope was addressed to “Gov. Codey,” according to Lieutenant Gerald Lewis of the New Jersey State Police Department.
“We received a call at 12:15 p.m.,” said Lewis.
Police evacuated the offices and a hazmat crew seized the envelope containing the suspicious substance. Former governor Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) was in his district office this afternoon.
The office has since been reopened, Lewis said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), state police and U.S. Postal inspectors are continuing the investigation, according to Lewis.
Sources say staffer Carmen Benitez opened the envelope addressed to Codey, but investigators would not get into the details of the case at this time.
Today’s incident is not isolated to New Jersey.
The Associated Press reported yesterday that government offices in South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, Tennessee, Utah, New Mexico , North Dakota, and the U.S. Virgin Islands all received similar envelopes. Earlier in the week, a dozen other states reported the same story.
North Dakota and Tennessee authorities said the powder sent to offices in those states is harmless. Virgin Islands officials said the powder they received was corn starch.
Other states determined the powder “to be flour, corn starch or some other harmless food starch,” according to the Associated Press.