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US Capitol Police investigate after powder in bag inside its headquarters tests positive for cocaine

Authorities said the bag was found on a floor inside the United States Capitol Police headquarters in Washington in what is described as a 'heavily trafficked' area.
U.S. Capitol Police release image of a hallway at its headquarters campus in Washington.
Posted at 3:57 PM, May 15, 2024

An investigation is ongoing after a small bag with a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine was found on a floor at the headquarters for the U.S. Capitol Police in Washington, D.C., the law enforcement agency said in a Wednesday statement. An image released by USCP appeared to show where the small "one-inch by one-inch zip lock bag" was found, which contained a "small amount" of the white powdery substance, a statement read.

Authorities said the small "baggie" was found on the floor of a hallway located inside USCP headquarters on its second level, and an officer quickly reported it to their supervisor after it was found just before 1 p.m. on Wednesday. When the small bag, and its contents, was field tested, the test showed the substance was cocaine.

An investigation was ongoing by Wednesday afternoon, officials said, that would require further chemical testing of the substance along with DNA testing of the bag.

The area was described as "heavily trafficked" and contractors and employees are free to walk through the area after they are approved to be there, the agency said. Offices for departments like "Prisoner Processing," "Intel," "Crime Scene" and "Reports Processing" are all nearby, the agency said.

U.S. Capitol Police said it would provide more information on the investigation as it is available.

Last year, an official confirmed that another investigation into an incident involving a suspicious white powdery substance at another federal property in Washington — the White House — returned a positive result for cocaine. While President Joe Biden and other members of his family and administration were away at Camp David, the substance was discovered by law enforcement.

Anthony Guglielmi, a Secret Service spokesperson, told Scripps News in July last year, "the White House complex went into a precautionary closure as officers from the Secret Service Uniformed Division investigated an unknown item found inside a work area."

After the Washington, D.C. Fire Department determined the substance was non-hazardous, it was later tested — with the help of the FBI — and determined to be positive for cocaine.

Last year Scripps News investigated what appears to be a resurgence in the cocaine trade globally, which has been described as a "boom."

Data from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse revealed that around 27,788,000 U.S. residents 12 years old and older have used some form of cocaine at least once in their lives, the Department of Justice said in a report.