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US Secret Service ends short White House cocaine probe; no suspect identified: Report

Wreaths decorate the White House on Dec. 23 in Washington, D.C. A California man was arrested in Iowa on his way to the White House after authorities said he intended to “kill persons in power.” (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
July 13, 2023

The U.S. Secret Service ended its investigation into the cocaine found at the White House less than two weeks after it was first discovered, two people familiar with the matter told CNN. The agency was not able to identify a suspect.

Agency officials reviewed visitor logs and surveillance footage involving hundreds of people who were in the West Wing around the time the cocaine was found, one source said, adding that investigators were unable to pinpoint the specific time or day the bag of cocaine was left in the White House.

According to the second source, officials believe it was left by a visitor who entered the executive mansion for a tour.

The White House was briefly forced to evacuate on Sunday, July 2, after a white powder-like substance – later identified as cocaine – was discovered in a “work area” inside the West Wing, prompting an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service.

“On Sunday evening, 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,” the Secret Service said at the time.

According to The Washington Post, Anthony Guglielmi, a Secret Service spokesman, explained that the substance is continuing to undergo testing to confirm its identity; however, a preliminary test indicated that the substance was cocaine.

Guglielmi noted that there is “an investigation into the cause and manner” regarding how the substance was brought into the White House. The questionable substance was detected by members of the Uniformed Division of the U.S. Secret Service during a routine check of the White House.

Fox News reported that a hazmat team was dispatched to the area surrounding Pennsylvania Avenue and 18th Street after the substance was discovered. Secret Service units also blocked off the roads near the White House.

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.