Sun Photo: William Thompson
Police tape around the Tucumcari Post Office had residents a little worried Monday. Two envelopes were found to contain a mysterious powder. Postal inspectors later determined the powder to be harmless.
New Mexico State Police and U.S. Postal Service officials shut down the Tucumcari Post Office on Monday morning after receiving a call from a postal employee stating that two envelopes containing a mysterious powder were found inside the post office.
Inspector Lisa Guevara of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said Monday afternoon that inspectors determined the powdery substance to be non-hazardous. The post office reopened for business at 3 p.m. on Monday.
Officials still had not determined the exact nature of the substance on Tuesday.
Lt. Cleo Baker of New Mexico State Police said Tucumcari police received the initial call about 8 a.m.
“No one was hurt. No one has been hospitalized. There were three employees in the building when the envelopes were found,” Baker said.
He said the envelopes were ordinary legal-sized envelopes. He said a postal employee discovered the envelopes while sorting mail. The employee noticed the powder spilling out of the envelopes, he said.
Baker said postal inspectors asked him not to reveal the envelopes’ intended recipient.
“We don’t know who sent the envelopes but they were addressed to someone here locally,” Baker said.
The case is now before U.S. postal inspectors.
“We were able to clear the scene by 2:30 p.m. (on Monday),” Guevara said. “We haven’t determined if this was a crime or not.”
Baker said no threatening notes were discovered.