No fingerprints or DNA sample from cocaine found at White House – Secret Service


No fingerprints or DNA has been found on a bag of cocaine found in a lobby at the White House last week despite a sophisticated FBI crime lab analysis, according to a summary of the Secret Service investigation.

Surveillance footage of the area did not identify a suspect, the summary obtained by The Associated Press showed. There are no leads on who brought the drugs into the building.

US Secret Service agents found the white powder during a routine White House sweep on July 2, in a heavily trafficked West Wing lobby where staff go in and out and tour groups gather to drop their phones and other belongings.

“Without physical evidence, the investigation will not be able to single out a person of interest from the hundreds of individuals who passed through the vestibule where the cocaine was discovered,” Secret Service officials said in the summary.

US President Joe Biden was not at the White House when the cocaine was discovered on July 2 (Mindaugas Kulbis/AP/PA)

The presence of cocaine at the White House prompted a flurry of criticism and questions from Republicans, who requested a briefing on Thursday on the probe.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said US President Joe Biden believed it was “incredibly important” for the Secret Service to get to the bottom of how the drugs ended up in the White House.

Mr Biden was not there at the time of the discovery. He was at Camp David with members of his family for the holiday weekend.

The complex was briefly evacuated as a precaution when the white powder was found.

The fire department was called in to test the substance on the spot to determine whether it was hazardous, and the initial test came back negative for a biohazard but positive for cocaine.

The Secret Service is responsible for securing the White House and is leading the investigation.

The small plastic bag was sent for a secondary, more sensitive lab analysis.

Homeland Security’s National Biodefence Analysis and Countermeasures Centre analysed the item for any biothreats. Tests conducted at the facility came back negative and gave formal confirmation that the substance was not a biological threat.

The lobby is also open to staff-led tours of the West Wing, which are scheduled for non-working hours on weekends and evenings.

Those tours are invitation-only and led by White House staff for friends, family and other guests. Most staffers who work in the complex can request an evening or weekend tour slot, but there is often a long waiting list. There were tours on the day, a Sunday, the drugs were found, as well as on the two preceding days.

The cocaine and packaging underwent further forensics testing, including advanced fingerprint and DNA work at the FBI’s crime laboratory, according to the summary. The FBI also did chemical testing.

Meanwhile, Secret Service investigators put together a list of several hundred individuals who may have accessed the area where the drugs were found.

But the lab results did not turn up latent fingerprints or DNA, so agents cannot compare anything to the possible suspect pool. White House staff are fingerprinted, participants in tour groups are not.

Video of the West Executive street lobby entrance did not identify the person or provide any solid investigative leads, the Secret Service said.

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