The U.S. Secret Service has taken over the investigation of a gift-wrapped package of manure sent to the Bel-Air home of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
The package was apparently intended as a protest.
It’s not clear that any local laws were violated even though the package provoked an extensive law-enforcement response early Saturday evening, said Officer Ray Barron, of the West Los Angeles Division of the L.A. Police Dept.
“There was nothing other than insulting comments,” said Barron, describing a note that accompanied the box. “There was nothing dangerous in the box — no controlled substances. No threats were made.”
A neighbor of Mnuchin’s made the call to police because the package had been left on the neighbor’s property. Police cordoned off the area for two to three hours, blocking access in and out, and called in the bomb squad, but ordered no evacuations, Barron said.
The bomb squad then sent in a remotely operated cart that x-rayed the device. There appeared to be no danger, except perhaps to olfactory glands.
The manure was dumped, but the box and accompanying note retained for evidence, Barron said.
The Secret Service, which plays a central role in protecting federal officials, including the president, immediately took over the inquiry, Barron said. Law enforcement officials have not released information about who might have sent the package.
Various broadcast reports identified the contents of the box as horse manure and said the note identified the box as coming from “the American people.”
11:15 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details throughout from a West L.A. Division officer, who noted that the Secret Service has taken over investigation of the incident.
This article was originally published at 8:35 a.m.