Package with threatening letter, powdery substance sent to Marion County sheriff
OCALA, Fla. (WOGX FOX 51) -
The Marion County Sheriff's Office is investigating a package containing a powdery substance and a threatening letter that was delivered and opened inside Sheriff Chris Blair's office on Friday.
An assistant, who opened the letter around 8:50 a.m., immediately called for help and emergency protocols were activated. The letter contained a direct threat to Sheriff Blair, investigators say.
The assistant was not injured. Fire rescue professionals from both the Marion County Fire Rescue and the Ocala Fire Rescue took over the scene to contain the suspicious powder and package.
"This is serious," Sheriff Blair said. "The emotional stress on our employees will not be tolerated. Disrupting MCSO business will not be tolerated. And the emergency resources that were used could have been elsewhere protecting the community."
Along with fire agencies, the incident involved the Marion County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad, MCSO Major Crimes division, plus the MCSO Homeland Security and Counter Terrorism investigations unit.
At this point, the powdery substance will be tested by health department professionals in Jacksonville.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office, in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) will be investigating this incident.
Anyone with information about this incident should call Crime Stoppers at 352-368‐7867. One can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward.