FBI investigating suspicious package sent to SCDOT attorney

FBI investigating suspicious package sent to SCDOT attorney

COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating after a suspicious envelope was sent to an attorney in Colleton County.

The Colleton County Sheriff's Office arrested Brenda Rivers and charged her with obstruction of justice.

Authorities say she is also being investigated in connection with another envelope that was sent to Sheriff R. A. Strickland.

Her charge stems from an incident Thursday when deputies responded to a law office on Carn Street for a report of a suspicious package. The package was an envelope addressed to an attorney at the office with a return address for a man named Niyah El Dey.

The sheriff's office says the law office had represented SCDOT in a lawsuit filed by El Dey earlier in the year; a judge had issued a six-month detention order after El Dey was found to be in contempt of court.

A report states that when the attorney opened the envelope, she had a reaction to an unknown irritant believed to have been contained inside.

Authorities say El Dey and his wife, Brenda Rivers, were seen by the attorney's law clerk at the Walterboro Post office the day before.

On Friday morning, the sheriff's office was notified by the post master that Rivers was at the post office mailing another envelope.

According to deputies, the envelope was the same style container and was bearing the same return address that was mailed to the attorney. However, the envelope was addressed to Sheriff R.A. Strickland.

Officials with the sheriff's office said that due to the situation stemming from the first package that was sent to the attorney, precautions were set into motion where the package meant for Strickland was isolated in a private office by USPS personnel.

Investigators conducted a number of air quality tests where the results came in with normal readings. The package was transported to the sheriff's office and placed in an evidence vault.

Deputies then initiated a traffic stop on Rivers on Highway 17 near the Beaufort County line.

She was charged with obstruction of justice for the situation stemming from the letter sent to the attorney.  Authorities are continuing the investigation.

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