Niagara Gazette

Crime

January 8, 2013

Falls Reserve Air Station and other local military facilities receive "suspicious packages"

Niagara Gazette — TOWN OF NIAGARA — For the second time in less than a year, the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station was shutdown Tuesday after the receipt of what was described as a "suspicious package."

Three other military related facilities in Western New York also received "suspicious" packages or letters, but were apparently not subject to a precautionary shutdown.

The FBI confirmed that members of its Joint Terrorism Task Force were investigating the incidents.

"We received calls from four military related facilities in our area regarding suspicious packages," Agent Maureen Dempsey, an FBI spokesperson, said. "Members of the local JTTF responded and assisted in the investigation."

In addition to the Falls air base, facilities in Buffalo, Olean and near Rochester also received either packages or letters that aroused concern.

In a statement released to news organizations, an unidentified spokesperson for the 914th Airlift Wing said the arrival of what law enforcement sources said was a "letter" triggered the base shutdown.

"Today, at approximately 2 p.m., Niagara Falls air base received a suspicious package prompting base officials to initiate standard emergency protocols to secure personnel and property on the installation," the statement read. "The package in question was received on base via civilian mail carrier and had no return address. No other details concerning the package are available at this time."

Local volunteer fire companies and paramedics also responded to the base as a precaution.

JTTF agents reportedly performed preliminary tests on the letter at the air base and, based on the test results, determined it posed no immediate hazard. The agents took the letter and Dempsey said the terrorism task investigation will continue. 

It's not clear if the air base letter or any packages have been opened and examined.

On March 15, the arrival of a “suspicious package” at the air reserve station led to a shutdown of the base. That shutdown lasted almost 10 hours.

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