Anthrax hoax letters continue in Texas

A pastor in Richardson, Texas, has become the 14th victim in a series of bioterror hoaxes in the Dallas area.

The Rev. Jay Matthews of St. Stephen’s Anglican Catholic Church received an envelope containing white powder on August 7, the Dallas Morning News reports. There was a sheet of paper inside the envelope, but Richardson would not say whether it contained a note. The envelope was the standard size of a letter and contained an unfamiliar return address. Both the return address and the mailing address were generated on a computer.

“It looked like standard business mail,” Matthews told the Dallas Morning News.

Last week, mysterious envelopes were sent to area businesses, Catholic and Protestant churches, a mosque, Dallas Love Field Airport and several high-tech companies. Preliminary tests determined that the powder was harmless in these 13 other cases.

Local police and fire departments responded to the calls in full hazardous materials mode.

U.S. Postal Inspector Amanda McCurrey told the Dallas Morning News that it was too early to say if the St. Stephen’s case was related to any of the others.

Postal inspectors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are not saying whether or not they believe the same perpetrator was behind these incidents and several similar incidents that have occurred in the area over the past two years, including those at two elementary schools and the Dallas City Hall.