U.S. senators receive suspicious letters

June 29, 2011 at 11:36 AM
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 29 (UPI) -- The FBI said it has opened an investigation into the mailing of harmless powder sent to both of Florida's U.S. senators this week.

Letters containing a powdery substance were received Monday and Tuesday at the Jacksonville, Fla., offices of Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, the (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union reported.

In both instances, the bomb squad was called out and portions of the four-story duPont Center where the offices are located were evacuated.

The substance in the letter sent to Rubio, a Republican, turned out to be corn starch, the Fire Department said.

There was no word on the identity of the substance contained in Democrat Nelson's letter, but the FBI said it was harmless.

FBI spokesman Jeff Westcott said the agency's Jacksonville office has opened an investigation into the two mailings.

"We don't know that they are connected for sure," he said. "There certainly are similarities."

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