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Monday's mail brought an unnerving surprise to Attorney Ronald W. Stephens and his staff at their Bronson office when an envelope yielded an unknown white/tan powder.
An assistant opened a package delivered by the U.S. Postal Service to find the envelope contained a clear plastic baggie with “an unknown tan/white residue,” according to a Levy County Sheriff's Office.
The Levy County Sheriff’s Office called in the Levy County Public Safety Department, who in turn contacted brought in a regional agency, the Gainesville Hazardous Material Response Team.
The building was evacuated and the employees were assessed by Levy County EMS.
A hazardous materials team was called in from Gainesville. Th team removed the package and did some testing before sending it on to the state Health Department for more testing.
Sheriff's Office Lt. Scott Tummond said preliminary tests determined the substance is not a biohazard ? like anthrax ? nor is it an illegal drug like cocaine.
Because the tests were inconclusive the powder was sent to the Florida Department of Health Laboratory in Jacksonville.
Stephens was unavailable for comment as he was in court in another county on Tuesday and the staff member who opened the package declined to comment without his permission.