hazmat

Columbus Fire Hazardous Materials Support Unit arrived at the Circleville Police Department Friday to take the letter and envelope to a lab for testing.

CIRCLEVILLE — It was business as usual at the Circleville Herald Friday, following receipt of a letter threatening to harm the staff.

On Thursday afternoon, a Herald employee opened a nondescript business envelope addressed to “Circleville Herald.” The letter threatened to physically harm the staff and said that the envelope contained the narcotic Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid often found in powder form that can penetrate the skin and cause death in high doses. The staff member stopped reading and dropped the letter when they noticed an unknown substance in the envelope.

The staff member immediately washed their hands while another staff member called Circleville Police. On arrival, CPD officers donned protective gear and collected the letter, as well as any residual substance that came out of the envelope.

According to police, the letter also contained apparent threats toward other Pickaway County residents. Police are currently notifying those individuals and are not releasing the names.

On Friday, as the Circleville Herald staff got back to work, CPD contacted the Pickaway County Emergency Management Agency with a request for HAZMAT assistance. Columbus HAZMAT arrived at CPD Friday morning to take possession of the unknown substance the suspect called “Fentanyl,” to take to a lab for testing.

The Herald’s parent company, Adams Publishing, is not commenting on the active police investigation.

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