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Substance in Rep. Meeks' office not dangerous, police say

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The U.S. Capitol Police tested a suspicious substance found Monday afternoon in the office of Rep. Greg Meeks, New York Democrat, and pronounced it non-dangerous.

“All test results are negative,” the police said in an email to staffers. “The area has reopened.”

Police first alerted Congress members and staff of the scare just after 12:30 p.m.

Mr. Meeks’ spokeswoman Candace Sandy told the New York Post that a staffer was going through a stack of mail and a found a suspicious powdery substance so police quarantined the office.

The scare comes two weeks after letters laced with the poison ricin were intercepted on the way to President Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker, Mississippi Republican.

Federal authorities arrested James Everett Dutschke, 41, on Saturday on charges of possessing and using ricin after initially charging and clearing another man with whom Mr. Dutschke had sometimes quarreled. A federal magistrate in Oxford, Miss., has ordered Mr. Dutschke to be held without bond pending a preliminary hearing later this week.

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About the Author

Susan Crabtree

Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at

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