A Day After Suspicous White Powder Packages Are Discovered In Hartford, Authorities Turn Their Probe Toward New Haven

Authorities are investigating whether several bomb threats and the discovery of a white powder substance at office buildings in downtown New Haven on Wednesday are connected to white powder incidents in and around Hartford on the same day, police said. A New Haven man with a history of threats remains under investigation, officials said.

A New Haven police spokesman said firefighters and officers were called after two white powder packages were found in downtown office buildings.

He did not release additional details but said it may be connected to the federal investigation launched after the Hartford incidents. “This is a multi-jurisdictional investigation being aided by law enforcement from several agencies,” Officer David Hartman said in an email.

The first reports of the packages started about 11 a.m at a state office building in Hartford. Within several hours, similar packages were found at three other places in Hartford, including the federal courthouse, and a Bristol credit union, authorities said.

Federal authorities said Thursday morning that white powder found Wednesday at a Motel 6 was part of the investigation.

Fire officials said powders found in two locations in Hartford were baby powder, but federal authorities have not discussed the results of any subsequent testing.

In the evening, after emergency crews responded to these incidents, the U.S. attorney’s office said a New Haven man, Gary Joseph Gravelle, had been taken into custody for violating his federal supervised release.

Though he wasn’t charged with Wednesday’s white powder incidents, prosecutors said he was under investigation for his involvement in that and a series of threatening communications they believe he sent to state and federal offices, as well as other organizations.

Gravelle, 51, was released after serving roughly 70 months for sending threatening letters and packages in 2010, authorities said. Among his targets at the time was a Superior Court judge.

Gravelle sent the judge a package containing what he said was “liquid anthrax,” but authorities later confirmed it was a harmless substance.

Thomas Carson, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said Thursday that Gravelle has not been charged with Wednesday’s incidents, but he remains under investigation.

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