Updated Jul 5, 2023, 6:06pm EDT
North America

Cocaine found in ‘heavily traveled area’ of White House

A view of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2023. REUTERS/Julia Nikhinson
REUTERS/Julia Nikhinson

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The discovery of a white powder, which briefly led to the evacuation of the White House on Sunday, has been confirmed to be cocaine after a Secret Service lab test.

The drug was found in a common area of the West Wing, where the offices of several support staff and the Oval Office are located. The discovery was made in a storage area which houses the mobile phones of visitors and staffers working at the White House.

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The drug was identified shortly after the evacuation, The Washington Post reported, citing law enforcement officials and an audio recording of a radio dispatch that was issued the same night.

U.S. President Joe Biden was not at the White House at the time. The Secret Service is investigating how the cocaine got there.

During a briefing Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the cocaine was found in “a heavily traveled area” where visitors to the West Wing, including tour groups, come through.

“We have confidence that the Secret Service is going to get to the bottom of this,” Jean-Pierre said.

A Secret Service spokesperson declined to comment further due to the ongoing investigation.