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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As the developments in the suspected bombs being sent to opponents of President Donald Trump continue to unfold, Joe Bellissimo is watching with an educated eye.
He’s been there with a threatening package in his hands before, “Your adrenaline starts to rush and you start to focus then on what you’re going to do.”
Now an instructor at Impax in McCandless, Bellissimo spent four years with the FBI and 21 years as a U.S. Postal Inspector. He says the actions are clear when you’ve got a problem on your hands.
“You have to isolate it, and X-ray it right there and see what you have,” he said.
Bellissimo says the suspected devices that have been found over the past day have the classic red flags of a suspicious package.
“Most of them have stamps on them. They won’t have any metered indices on them or anything like that,” he says.
In fact, Bellissimo says often its excessive postage to try and avoid it being weighed at the post office. Also, he says, “We look for misspellings in the address or the return address.”
The packages involved in the current investigation had multiple misspellings. Even though he’s no longer with the Postal Inspectors Service he didn’t want to give away any of the agencies policies or practices. He says, even in Pittsburgh, where more than a million pieces of mail are handled each day, the checking system is extensive.
He says it starts with the highly-trained employees when there’s a situation like this.
“Headquarters will send something out to be on the lookout for these packages. All the employees have been trained and are diligent about what they do. And for good reason if the package has an active device in it, it could go off.”
Bellissimo says the occurrences of actual devices going through the mail are very rare. In his more than 20 years on the job, Bellissimo can only remember three actual cases of dangerous packages found in Western Pennsylvania.