A suspicious white-coloured substance found at the White House over the weekend has been identified as cocaine, reported Al Jazeera citing the United States media outlets.
The powder was found by Secret Service agents in a publicly accessible area of the West Wing on Sunday around 8:45 pm local time, prompting the evacuation of the complex for a brief moment.
President Joe Biden wasn't present at the time. Instead, he was spending the weekend at Camp David, the presidential retreat. Fire and emergency service personnel arrived to conduct quick testing on the material. These preliminary examinations revealed that the powder was cocaine.
While stating that an "item" had been discovered and tested, the Secret Service has not yet specified what the material was.
"The item was sent for further evaluation, and an investigation into the cause and manner of how it entered the White House is pending," the agency, which is tasked with presidential security, said in a statement, as per Al Jazeera.
However, the drug was identified by many media outlets, citing government sources. The Washington Post also reported, "a firefighter with the DC department's hazardous materials team radioed the results of the tested powder."
"We have a yellow bar saying cocaine hydrochloride," said the radio dispatch. The area where the cocaine was recovered is regularly accessed by tour groups.
The West Wing is a section of the White House that is connected to the president's residence, the executive mansion. The Oval Office, the Cabinet Room, and the Press Room are all located there, along with the president's staff members' offices and workplaces.
There are hundreds of people who frequently visit or work in the area.
Biden and his family left for Camp David on Friday and returned to the White House on Tuesday, where the president was scheduled to address a national teachers' union and hold a BBQ to celebrate the US Independence Day, Al Jazeera reported.