Speaker of the House Matt Regier, R-Kalispell, became the third of four Montana lawmakers to receive a suspicious letter, following the receipt of threatening notes containing an unknown white powder by two other Republican legislators last week, and one on Monday morning.
According to a press release from Montana House Leadership, the letter was sent to Regier’s office in the state capitol in Helena several days ago, and had been stored unopened in the House leadership offices. Staff flagged the letter as suspicious late Saturday night before turning it over to Montana Highway Patrol early Sunday morning.
The letter sent to Regier contained similarities to two suspicious letters addressed to Reps. Rhonda Knudsen, R-Culbertson, and Neil Duram, R-Eureka, earlier this week. All three letters were stamped with Kansas City post markings and used the same kind of stamp.
House Leadership on Friday released a statement after Knudsen and Duram received anonymous letter at their homes containing “vague and threatening letters” and a smaller envelope containing an unknown white powder.
“These letters mailed to Speaker Pro Tempore Rhonda Knudsen and Rep. Neil Duram containing an unknown substance are a continuation of the threats and hate directed at legislators during the session. We pray and hope that the white powder is benign while we await test results. Just as we stood firm during the session, we will not be threatened or distracted now. We are in tumultuous times and House leadership will continue our objective to protect Montanans’ freedom and safety no matter what cowardly threats are directed at us,” Regier said in a statement on Friday before officials found the suspicious letter addressed to his Helena office.
Regier could not be immediately reached for comment.
House Majority Leader Sue Vinton, R-Billings, also received a letter with an unidentified white powder on Monday morning, which was tested and identified as flour by the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office and Billings Fire Department Hazmat Team.
“While I’m hopeful that the other letters received by Montana Republican legislators are also benign, I want to encourage all lawmakers to continue exercising extreme caution and work with their local law enforcement to handle any suspicious mail that they receive,” Vinton said in a press release Monday afternoon.
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