A section of the Montana State Capitol in Helena was evacuated for two hours Thursday after an envelope containing matches and other “particles” smoked and ignited a small fire when opened in the offices of Gov. Judy Martz, reports the city’s Independent Record. No one was hurt. Similar devices also arrived in governors’ offices in Idaho, Nebraska, Utah and Washington and in a director’s office within the Nevada prison system Thursday, state level officials from around the West confirmed.
Officials within the Nevada Department of Corrections are narrowing in on a possible suspect within the state’s prison system, said Glen Whorton, assistant director of the Nevada Department of Corrections. Helena Police Chief Troy McGee said the letter to Martz’s office was apparently sent from the maximum-security Ely State Prison in Nevada, although he didn’t elaborate on the return address on the envelope. Nevada officials sent notices of the incidents nationwide through the Homeland Security network. Utah officials said they had been on alert for the suspicious letter and handed it over to law enforcement officers as soon as it arrived.