Packages Delivered to Pearce’s District Office Not Toxic

Posted June 4, 2003 at 10:50am

FBI officials investigating a pair of packages recently received by one House Member’s district office said preliminary tests indicate the materials are not toxic.

Supervisory Special Agent Doug Beldon, who works in the FBI’s Albuquerque field office, said the packages received by Rep. Steve Pearce’s (R-N.M.) Roswell office “appear to be innocuous.”

The packages, one received last week and a second on Tuesday, have return addresses labeled “Intelligentsia of Justice Institute, Tehran, Iran,” Beldon said. The packages contained only compact discs, which were not accompanied by letters or other information.

Pearce’s Roswell office took “precautionary measures” and contacted the Capitol Police after receiving the packages because staff members believed they looked suspicious, said Pearce spokeswoman Gail Gitcho.

Although mail sent to Members’ Hill offices is screened at an off-site facility by the Capitol Police, there is no similar process for district offices.

Capitol Police spokeswoman Jessica Gissubel confirmed the department’s threat section is investigating the incident but is not pursuing criminal charges at this time.

Gissubel could not discuss details of the ongoing investigation, including whether other offices have received similar packages.