Federal offices receive powder filled envelopes

White powder-filled envelopes mailed to federal offices in Idaho and Washington turned out to be hoaxes rather than a bioweapon such as anthrax, according to The Spokesman-Review.

The newspaper reports that the powder-filled envelopes were mailed to FBI offices in Spokane, Wash., and Pocatello, Idaho, an IRS office in Bellevue, Wash., and to the U.S. Attorney's offices in Coeur d'Alene and Boise.

The IRS building and the U.S. Attorney's offices were both evacuated as a precaution, though no injuries were reported.

No one was exposed to the powder, FBI supervisor Frank Harrill told the newspaper. The envelopes were to be delivered on Monday, but were intercepted prior to being opened.

"We consider it a threat," Harrill told the newspaper.

The mailings, even though they do not appear to contain hazardous materials like anthrax-laced envelopes mailed in 2001 after 9/11, can result in federal prison time for the person responsible.

FBI Special Agent Frederick Gutt told Yahoo! News that the powder in the envelopes was revealed by laboratory tests to be mainly calcium carbonate, which is found in chalk.

Gutt added that a threat was associated with the envelopes but did not elaborate.

The investigation into who sent the powder is ongoing, the newspaper reports. The FBI is looking into the possibility that the incident were linked, calling the likelihood "logical" according to NYMag.com.