Feds close in on white-powder bandit

Monday, May 21, 2012

DALLAS—Federal authorities believe they are close to nabbing the person responsible for mailing nearly 400 letters containing harmless white powder, stunts that cost taxpayers millions of dollars, according to the Associated Press.

Officials with the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service believe the person is in the Dallas area, as a majority of the letters passed through a suburban Dallas postal center, the AP reported. Federal officials are offering $150,000 as a reward for evidence that leads to the apprehension of the suspect.

Each time a letter containing white powder is discovered, a hazardous material team is sent in response at a cost of $1,500 an hour, a spokesperson for the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department, told the AP. The response has been deemed necessary since the 2001 Anthrax attacks.