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Source: Suspicious Bergen courthouse package contained Epsom salt

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

EXCLUSIVE: A manila envelope received at the Bergen County Courthouse contained nearly two tablespoons of Epsom salt, drawing Hackensack firefighters and the county Hazardous Materials Unit this afternoon, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

“Everyone is relieved that there was no harm, no danger,” a source with knowledge of the incident told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “But somebody put that in there.”

A courthouse staff member gave the envelope to a sheriff’s officer following the discovery in Room 415 of the Civil Division late this afternoon, said Dave Martinez, a spokesman for Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino.

It was then turned over to the county Hazardous Materials Unit, he said.

A Bergen County Police Department sergeant said nothing harmful was found.

A courthouse source told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that the envelope’s flap had been taped over near the metal clasp to secure it closed, but some of the salt had leaked out, alarming the recipient.

Otherwise, nothing appeared amiss, including the intended and return addresses or the court papers inside, the source said.

Sheriff’s officers brought the envelope outside and notified city firefighters and county Haz-Mat.

They also contacted the Rutherford firm on the return address.

A principal at the firm was surprised to learn of the discovery and fully cooperated with the agencies involved. Additional employee interviews were expected.

The Hazmat techs conducted several tests before determining that the substance was Epsom salt.

“Now it’s a question of who did it and why,” one source said.

If it is going to be investigated, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli told CLIFFVIEW PILOT , it would likely be by U.S. Postal Inspection Service authorities.

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