Hartford

Substance That Led to White Powder Investigations in Hartford Was Baby Powder: Official

The substance that prompted investigations into four white powder incidents in Hartford Wednesday was baby powder, according to Hartford fire chief Reginald Freeman.

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. Officials 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 white powder incident Wednesday was at 450 Columbus Blvd., which houses the Department of Education. State troopers responded to the building at 11:04 a.m.

At the federal courthouse at 450 Main St. in Hartford, two envelopes were found 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.

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.

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

The fourth incident 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 or if it was the same substance.

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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