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Mar-03-2008 15:43printcomments

Anthrax Threat at Albany Courthouse Turns Out to be Hoax

The courthouse will remain closed for the rest of today and is expected to open for business on time tomorrow morning.

Linn County Courthouse
Photo of Linn County Courthouse courtesy: Linn County, Oregon

(ALBANY, Ore.) - Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller reports that a reported anthrax threat has proved to be a hoax. The Linn County Courthouse had been closed due to security concerns after envelopes were discovered this morning threatening anthrax contamination.

He says that around 6:17 AM, a custodian opening the courthouse found a note written on an outside entry door and envelopes nearby.

The note indicated that anthrax was in the envelopes and more were inside the courthouse. Only two were found, both near the door where the note was left, Mueller said.

"One appeared to have been slid under the door into the building and the other was found outside."

Linn County Sheriff's deputies closed access to the courthouse. Only one person was in the courthouse at the time, an employee from the County Clerk's Office.

Members of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Oregon Army National Guard, and the Linn-Benton Region 5 Haz-Mat team were on scene assisting with the search and investigation.

"The courthouse was seached by Haz-Mat team members and nothing else was found," Mueller said.

"Deputies are processing the scene at this time as part of a criminal investigation. There are no suspects at this time however the FBI has indicated federal charges will be filed if a suspect is identified."

The courthouse will remain closed for the rest of today and is expected to open for business on time tomorrow morning.

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