Suspicious package at prison turns out to be a false alarm

First Posted: 1/22/2014

LUMBERTON — The Lumberton Correctional Institution has been given the “all clear” after suspicious packages were found this morning, according to a state Department of Public Safety spokesperson. It is the second time in a week suspicious packages have been found at the facility.

A white substance found in separate envelopes received by two employees at the facility turned out to be talcum powder, according to Pam Walker, Communications director of the Department of Public Safety.

The alleged threat was reported to the Department of Public Safety at about 11 a.m. and was under control at about 2 p.m., Walker said.

The Hazardous Materials Regional Response Team, the Robeson County Sheriff’s Department’s Mobile Command Center and Lumberton police and firefighters were called to the scene.

Walker said the first incident happened on Friday, when talcum powder was also found in an internally delivered envelope at the institution. The Hazardous Materials Regional Response Team was also called in that day.

According to Walker, the envelopes in all three incidents came from within the facility.

“We believe it was possibly some inmates … trying to stir up something outside,” Walker said. “In an abundance of caution, we asked Hazmat to come out.”

The Lumberton Correctional Institution is a medium-security facility with a staff of 260 and the capacity to house 768 inmates.