2 State Troopers, 1 Civilian Become Ill After Opening Letter Sent To Barracks

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CARLISLE, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – State police and federal authorities are investigating after a letter sent to a Pennsylvania police barracks containing what police call a “biohazard” sickened three employees.

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Donovan Lee is now behind bars at the State Correctional Institution in Fayette County, or SCI Fayette. Sources say that Lee mailed the letter to a state trooper who he had previous contact with.

KDKA’s Marty Griffin Reports:

The trooper works at the Pennsylvania State Police Barracks in Carlisle, near Harrisburg. Sources say Lee was angry with the trooper because he felt the officer had not fully investigated Lee’s claims that he was sexually assaulted by other inmates.

According to the criminal complaint, when the trooper opened the letter from Lee shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday, he began to feel “ill and light-headed, and later collapsed” while attempting to leave the station.

The complaint says the trooper “passed out while being transported to the hospital.”

A second trooper and a civilian employee who were nearby as the letter was opened also fell ill. They were also taken to a hospital for treatment and observation. All three were discharged from the hospital later Thursday and returned to work Friday.

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The incident caused the Carlisle State Police Barracks to be evacuated and partially shut down.

Sources tell KDKA Lee is at the center of the investigation, and he allegedly confessed to sending what’s described as “K-2 laced paper” in a letter to state police with the intention of “hurting or killing” a state police officer.

Sources said investigators believe other inmates are distributing the K-2 laced paper, and they what to track down how Lee got his hands on the paper.

Drug addiction expert Dr. Mitchell West described K-2 as “a chemical that is sold as synthetic marijuana, but, in reality, it is not that. In some cases, it interacts with the same receptors in the brain as marijuana.”

Dr. West, the medical director of the Allegheny Health Network’s Addiction Services, says K-2 is dangerous because you never know what’s in it.

“It’s a whole host of chemicals that have been around for about 20 years. They vary in terms of what they are made of, but often times, it’s a lot more potent and the effects are a lot more variable,” Dr. West said.

Looking for evidence of K-2 and other prison contraband, the State Correctional Institute in Fayette County was searched Friday by State Police, and a Hazardous Materials Team from Pittsburgh.

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