FBI mum on Ellsworth white powder case

Posted May 17, 2011, at 1:29 p.m.
Last modified May 17, 2011, at 1:45 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — The FBI on Tuesday confirmed that it is investigating the discovery of an unidentified white powder in an envelope at a local bank operations center, but agents said little else about the case.

According to Special Agent Greg Comcowich at the FBI Public Affairs office in Boston, the substance in the envelope preliminarily was determined to be “benign.” The agency normally does not provide updates on its investigations and the FBI will not be releasing any further details about the matter, Comcowich said Tuesday.

If there are any charges in the case, that information will be released by the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The discovery of the powder on May 12 drew rapid response teams from around the state to Ellsworth, where about 30 employees of the Bar Harbor Bank and Trust were evacuated from the bank’s operation center.

Hazardous materials teams collected samples and tests at the scene indicated that the substance was not harmful. Additional tests at the Maine Crime Lab in Augusta confirmed that the powder was not dangerous, but the lab was not able to identify the substance.  

One bank employee was taken to the hospital, but was released after the tests showed there was no danger from the powder.

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