White powder found on letter to L.A. judge; FBI investigating

Police and hazmat crews were called to a Los Angeles courthouse Wednesday when a mailroom staffer discovered white powder on an envelope addressed to a judge.

Just after 4 p.m., someone in the mailroom in a Van Nuys courthouse spotted a “white, dandruff-like powder” on mail addressed to Superior Court Judge Leland B. Harris, said Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Andy Neiman.

No staff members were injured, Neiman said.

A subsequent investigation revealed the white powder was boric acid, a common ingredient in pesticides and herbicides but which can be dangerous if swallowed.


The FBI is investigating the incident with help from the LAPD, U.S. Postal Service, the L.A. Fire Department, and the county’s health department, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. The letter is being sent to a lab for further testing.

“No overt threat associated with the letter has been identified at this time,” Eimiller said.

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