New Haven Man Being Questioned in Connection With Hartford White Powder Scare

A man is being questioned after authorities responded to multiple white powder incidents in Hartford Wednesday afternoon, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Hartford Fire Lt. Bryan Thompson confirmed four white powder incidents in Hartford.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said 51-year-old Gary Gravelle, of New Haven, is being questioned in connection with these incidents. Gravelle was arrested on a supervised release violation unrelated to this case and is in custody. They said no charges have been filed in connection with the white powder incidents. 

Gravelle is known to federal authorities. In 2013, he was sentenced in Bridgeport federal court to 70 months in prison for mailing threatening letters and he was released from federal prison in November 2015.

One incident Wednesday was at 450 Columbus Blvd., which houses the Department of Education.

State police said troopers responded to the building at 11:04 a.m. to investigate a report of a suspicious package and the building was evacuated.

Thompson said six people were near the white substance, but all self-decontaminated and no one was taken to the hospital.

At the federal courthouse at 450 Main St. in Hartford, there were two envelopes containing letters and white powder, according to two state sources. Fire officials said one female was taken by ambulance to Hartford Hospital as a precaution.

The location was treated as a hazmat situation and the area surrounding the courthouse was blocked off. The building was not evacuated but employees were told to remain in place. Hartford firefighters, the Hartford Police Department Bomb Squad, State Police and FBI were all called in, as well as crews from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

A third incident occurred at 21 Oak St., a state building behind the state courthouse. Firefighters at the scene said the building was not evacuated and the incident was contained to a small area.

A DEEP official confirmed the incident happened on the third floor, where there are multiple agencies and organization offices including ATF.

Emergency crews responded to a white powder incident at 21 Oak Street in Hartford Wednesday.

The fourth happened at 10 Columbus Blvd. in Hartford.

Federal officials said Thursday morning that an investigation at Motel 6 in Southington is connected, but no additional information was immediately available on how.

A white powder incident was also reported at 25 North St. in Bristol, the First Bristol Federal Credit Union building, though it is unclear if it is related.

Police said a female employee at First Bristol Credit Union discovered white powder while opening an envelope. The Bristol fire and police departments responded and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection were called.

Gov. Dannel Malloy released a statement Wednesday afternoon about the threat and response.

“The Connecticut State Police was notified of a threat at the Grasso-Fauliso State Office Building and the federal courthouse in downtown Hartford and immediately responded. Special units are on site and working closely with our federal and local partners to assess the situation. The State Police will be taking every measure to protect the safety and security of personnel and visitors in the buildings and surrounding areas. We are monitoring the situation very closely and will provide further updates as the investigation progresses,” Malloy said in a statement.

DEEP is supposed to test the powders. Federal officials said Thursday morning that they do not have any information to provide yet on what was in the letters.

Anyone with information that could help with the investigation is asked to call the FBI at 203-777-6311.

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