Suspicious envelopes sent to organizers of “straight pride” parade



SALISBURY, MASS. (WHDH) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Massachusetts State Police are assisting in an investigation after “suspicious envelopes” were reportedly sent to three organizers of the straight pride parade Monday.

Sky7 HD was live over homes on Main Street in Salisbury, the Fellsway in Malden and Walnut Street in Woburn, where multiple agencies, including the State Police Bomb Squad and Hazardous Materials Team, were on scene investigating a low-level hazmat situation, according to a spokesperson for the Massachusetts State Fire Marshall.

Malden police say the envelopes were all taped shut and contained Bible verses, glitter, and talcum powder.

“I was warned by Sam Racioppi, he called me, he had a letter at his house. He warned me to check my mail and indeed I had one,” John Hugo, President of Super Happy Fun America said. “There was handwritten, didn’t have a return address and it obviously had some type of powder inside. I know the hazmat people did confirm that.”

Hugo went on to say that he does not care if people protest against his group, as long as they do it legally.

“But, this is crossing a line,” he said. “This shouldn’t be a part of free speech, it really shouldn’t.”

Officials say this is not terrorism-related and there does not seem to be any threat to the public.

The group organizing the demonstration in Boston later responded to the events in a Twitter post saying, “Today members of our organization have received mysterious packages containing unknown substances in the mail. The #FBI is now involved we will keep you guys posted. We are now a #victim of a #terrorists crime all because we are #ProudToBeStraight.”

Racioppi who identifies himself as one of the organizers of the parade said he went out to his mailbox around 1:30 p.m. and found the suspicious letter.

“We’re not anti-gay, we’re not anti-anything,” he said. “All we are is, we’re a civil right movement that is advocating on behalf of the things we hold dear.”

Roads were temporarily closed between the Seabrook, New Hampshire town line and Toll Road in Salisbury.

Malden police say there is no threat of explosion and the package will be transported back to a lab for testing.

No injuries have been reported.

It is unclear who sent the messages.

This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS for updates online and on-air.

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