Iowa Attorney General

February 20, 2004

Statement Regarding Powder Materials Sent To Businesses

Statement of the Attorney General's Office:

The Iowa Attorney General's Office joins the Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management Division in emphasizing the message that it is a crime to send mail with powder or other potentially hazardous substances to disrupt or endanger businesses or other operations. Mailing threatening letters containing substances that are dangerous or intended to cause alarm constitutes criminal acts.

Depending on facts and circumstances, such activity may violate federal or state law, or both. Iowa crimes could range from a minimum of harassment or false reporting to administering a harmful substance and other very serious offenses.

Such activity also is extremely serious and dangerous because it undercuts public safety in other ways - especially by taxing limited public resources such as hazardous materials units, fire departments, emergency management, public health, and law enforcement agencies.


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