A white substance discovered in the White House is currently under investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, prompting heightened security measures and a temporary evacuation of the executive mansion on Sunday evening, according to law enforcement officials.
During initial analysis, the material, described as a white powder, tested positive for cocaine, based on information shared by a source close to the investigation and a broadcast recording from a D.C. fire crew dispatched to the incident.
Secret Service spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi, has confirmed the substance is being subjected to further testing to verify its identity. Alongside this, investigations are being carried out to ascertain how the substance gained entry to the White House. According to Guglielmi, the D.C. fire department has already assessed and declared that the substance did not pose any immediate threat.
The incident led to a heightened security alert at the White House, and a brief evacuation was conducted as a precautionary measure. Guglielmi confirmed that at the time of the discovery, President Biden was not present in the building. "We are conducting a detailed investigation into the origins and the method employed for the substance to gain entry into the White House," Guglielmi added.
He refrained from sharing specific details concerning where exactly in the White House the substance was discovered or its packaging. However, he did reveal that the Uniformed Division of the Secret Service had found the substance during routine patrol of the premises.
According to a dispatch marked with an 8:49 timestamp, a member of the D.C. department’s hazardous materials team communicated the preliminary results of the test over the radio stating, “We have a yellow bar saying cocaine hydrochloride.”
This broadcast, captured on a website named openmhz.com—a platform allowing public access to live and archived transmissions from police and fire departments—has been linked to the White House call on Sunday night by an official associated with the investigation. This official, who chose to remain anonymous due to the ongoing nature of the case, also described the quantity of the suspicious substance as small.
Vito Maggiolo, the spokesman for the D.C. Fire and EMS Department, provided limited information, simply stating that their agency was in a supportive role to the U.S. Secret Service during their ongoing investigation.