Suspicious Package Closes Department Of Revenue [GALLERY]

By: Tallahassee Fire Department; Lanetra Bennett Email
By: Tallahassee Fire Department; Lanetra Bennett Email

By: Lanetra Bennett
September 9, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - A suspicious package forces the evacuation of the Florida Department of Revenue.

The discovery shut down the Tallahassee offices for hours.

Authorities say an employee at the Florida Department of Revenue found a suspicious substance in the mail just after 8:00 Monday morning.

The Tallahassee Fire Department says about 125 people work in building L at 5067 West Tennessee Street, and all of them had to evacuate.

LT Mike Bellamy, the spokesperson for the Tallahassee Fire Department, says, "In an abundance of caution when public safety is ever in question, we're always going to evacuate and remove all of those occupants from inside the building; get them in a safe spot."

In a letter to employees, department officials say "a very small baggy of some kind of powder was received with a tax remittance payment."

The letter says, "the employee who opened the envelope had a certain amount of anxiety. Because of an elevated vital sign reading, she was taken to a doctor to be checked out as a precautionary measure." It says, "at no time did she display any kind of symptoms that could be associated with the foreign substance other than the stress of finding it."

We could not confirm if the woman we saw being loaded into an ambulance is the woman who found it.

LT Bellamy says, "The Department of Revenue here actually has an evacuation plan that they activated and they did a great job with that and getting all of the employees out in the parking lot, so that we're able to go inside and investigate the threat."

There were some employees who wanted to speak on camera about how they felt during the evacuation, but a supervisor came over to say that they were not allowed.

Most employees returned to work by noon.

Authorities say the Department of Health is testing the substance. They have not said when the results will be available.

Authorities say they do not believe the substance is a credible threat.


By: Lanetra Bennett
UPDATE, 11 am

The spokesman for the Tallahassee Fire Department, LT Mike Bellamy, says they got a call at 8:24 this morning about a suspicious substance at The Florida Department of Revenue.

LT Bellamy says firefighters responded to 5067 West Tennessee Street. He says a suspicious substance came in the mail at the building but says he cannot release any details as to how it was mailed, if it was in a package or envelope, or if it was addressed to anyone.

LT Bellamy says the FBI, the Tallahassee Police Department, and the Florida Department of Health were on scene. He says 125 employees were evacuated. The building was reopened around 10:40 a.m.

Bellamy says the Department of Health had taken the substance to get tested. He says he does not know when the results will be back; but while at the scene, he said authorities do not believe it is a credible threat.

No one was injured. No one had to be decontaminated.


By: Lanetra Bennett
UPDATE, 9:35 am

The Department of Revenue Building is back open.

According to to Mike Bellamy, Tallahassee Fire Department, the Department of Health took possession of the suspicious substance to test it.

Bellamy doesn't know when the results will be in; he says it's now all in the Department of health's hands.

Bellamy says they did not have to decontaminated anyone.


By: Lanetra Bennett
UPDATE, 9:40 am

All employees parked in front of the building were just asked to move their cars.


By: Lanetra Bennett
UPDATE, 9:35 am

As of right now, no one is hurt, and there doesn't seem to be threat to public.


According to the Tallahassee Fire Department

The Tallahassee Fire Department, assisted by the Tallahassee Police Department, is investigating a report of a suspicious substance at the Department of Revenue.

They are on the scene at the DOR Offices off of West Tennessee Street near Harvey's Supermarket.


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