FBI to investigate Taos anthrax hoax

Police in Taos, New Mexico, recently announced that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken over the search for the perpetrator of a white powder hoax.

Taos Police Chief Kenneth Koch said the white powder was sent to the Taos Community Against Violence during the week before Christmas. The center and portions of the surrounding area were evacuated and shut down while the material was tested. Despite testing negative for any hazardous material, the incident is to now be investigated by the FBI, according to TaosNews.com.

"When you combine the content of the letter and the overt action of placing a white powder many people would identify with anthrax, it still represents an act of terrorism," Koch said, TaosNews.com reports. "[The evidence] will go back to the lab in Quantico, Va., to be tested. It doesn't get more serious than that."

Koch said the CAV has been the target for white powder threats three times in the last three years. Though the dates appear to have been chosen at random, the police chief said there is evidence suggesting the threats have all come from the same source. He called the need to respond to such threats an incredible waste of resources. Police officers and fire fighters remained tied up at the scene until federal authorities arrived.

"We're not going to tolerate this," Koch said, TaosNews.com reports.