The White House grounds were evacuated on Sunday due to the discovery of an “unknown item” by the U.S. Secret Service (USSS).
On Tuesday, according to two officials familiar with the matter and an audio recording of a dispatch from a D.C. fire crew, a preliminary test indicated that the white powder discovered was cocaine.
Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesperson for the Secret Service, stated that the substance is currently undergoing further testing to determine its exact nature, and authorities are investigating how it entered the White House.
Guglielmi added that the D.C. fire department confirmed that the substance did not pose a threat.
As a result of the discovery, an increased security alert was implemented, and the executive mansion was briefly evacuated.
President Biden was not present in the White House at the time.
Guglielmi mentioned that an investigation is underway to determine the cause and manner of the substance’s entry into the White House.
Guglielmi declined to provide specific details regarding the location within the White House where the substance was found or its packaging.
He mentioned that it was discovered by members of the Uniformed Division of the Secret Service during their routine rounds in the building.
During a dispatch at 8:49 PM, a firefighter from the D.C. department’s hazardous materials team reported the test results, stating, “We have a yellow bar saying cocaine hydrochloride.”
This further confirms the reports that surfaced about the incident on Sunday night.
The audio transmission was recorded on a website called openmhz.com, which enables live and archived radio transmissions from police and fire departments.
One official involved in the investigation, speaking anonymously due to the ongoing case, confirmed that the 8:49 PM transmission originated from the White House call on Sunday night.
The official described the quantity of the substance as small.
Vito Maggiolo, spokesperson for the D.C. Fire and EMS Department, stated that the agency provided assistance to the U.S. Secret Service during their investigation.