Key west

Suspicious envelope found at U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia’s Key West office

 
 
U.S. Congressman Joe Garcia speaks at the FIU on April 22, 2013 at the omprehensive Immigration Reorm Community Roundtable-NCLR where over 20 groups were represented.
U.S. Congressman Joe Garcia speaks at the FIU on April 22, 2013 at the omprehensive Immigration Reorm Community Roundtable-NCLR where over 20 groups were represented.
C.M. GUERRERO / EL NUEVO HERALD

cclark@MiamiHerald.com

The FBI removed a suspicious envelope suspected to contain white powder and with the return address “Tea Party” that was delivered Wednesday morning to U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia’s satellite office in Key West.

The FBI is investigating, but preliminary indications are that the envelope was not a threat, according to Alyson Crean, spokeswoman for the Key West Police Department.

Only one person, Jen Jorge-Nichols, works in Garcia’s office in the Gato Building, an old cigar factory at Simonton and Virginia streets that also houses the Monroe County Health Department and the county’s Council of the Arts.

“We don’t know what it is, and neither did the police immediately,” said Nicole Cueto, a spokeswoman for Garcia. “It’s under investigation.”

Cueto said no other suspicious packages have been delivered to any of Garcia’s offices.

The envelope was discovered at about around 11 a.m. As protocol, the Key West Police and Fire units responded. And as a precaution, all people inside the building were sent home with directions to wash their clothes and bodies thoroughly. They also were told to go to the emergency room if they became ill.

The Gato Building will remain closed for the remainder of Wednesday and reopen Thursday during regular business hours.

In April, two hoax packages were sent to the Key West Post Office, both turning out to be nonthreatening.

“We had a lockdown and people were decontaminated as they left the post office,” Crean said. “We did not feel that level of a threat with this package.”

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