Anonymous report of fingerprints found on WH cocaine baggie contradicts Secret Service statement of 'lack of physical evidence'

July 15, 2023
Ben Marquis

The Secret Service on Thursday announced that it had closed its investigation into the source of the bag of cocaine discovered inside the West Wing of the White House nearly two weeks ago due to a lack of evidence, such as DNA or fingerprints.

That official announcement was contradicted by an anonymously-sourced report from one day earlier which asserted that fingerprints had been found about a week prior that positively identified the culprit, though that alleged perpetrator was not named, Breitbart reported.

A spokesman for the Secret Service nevertheless dismissed the reported contradiction and stood by the official assessment that there was insufficient evidence to definitively identify a suspect in the apparent security breach.

Anonymous report claims fingerprints resulted in positive ID of suspect

On Wednesday, Soldier of Fortune magazine reported exclusively that, per two unnamed sources with "direct knowledge" of the investigation, fingerprints had been recovered that led to the identity of the individual who handled the bag of illicit drugs found in the White House.

"We know who handled it. We’ve known since last week," one of the anonymous security sources told the outlet. The name of that purported suspect has been withheld pending official confirmation, however.

According to the sources, lab tests conducted within 24 hours of the initial discovery of the "suspicious white powder" not only confirmed that it was cocaine but also revealed fingerprints on the packaging that contained the illegal narcotics.

SoF magazine noted that it has now filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the three agencies that are most likely to know about the alleged fingerprint test results -- the Washington D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, and the U.S. Secret Service -- and, per federal law, should receive an initial response to those FOIA requests by August 1.

Official statement claims "lack of physical evidence" in cocaine probe

Yet, just one day after that report was issued, the Secret Service released an official statement on Thursday which confirmed that the "unknown substance" had tested positive for cocaine but nonetheless announced that the investigation had been closed due to a lack of sufficient evidence to link the bag of cocaine to any single individual.

Both the "substance and packaging" were sent to the FBI's crime lab for testing, including "advanced fingerprint and DNA analysis" of the bag that contained the drugs. Meanwhile, the Secret Service conducted a "methodical review of security systems and protocols" that stretched back to several days before the discovery and "developed an index of several hundred individuals" who had accessed the area where the drugs had been found.

"On July 12, the Secret Service received the FBI’s laboratory results, which did not develop latent fingerprints and insufficient DNA was present for investigative comparisons," the statement said. "Therefore, the Secret Service is not able to compare evidence against the known pool of individuals. The FBl's evaluation of the substance also confirmed that it was cocaine."

"There was no surveillance video footage found that provided investigative leads or any other means for investigators to identify who may have deposited the found substance in this area," the statement added. "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. At this time, the Secret Service's investigation is closed due to a lack of physical evidence."

Secret Service stands by official statement, disputes contradictory report

Breitbart asked Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi about the discrepancy between the official statement and the SoF report, but he replied, "This is absolutely not true. The FBI independent from the Secret Service tested the packaging of the cocaine and there were no discernible fingerprints or DNA found on the baggie, the packaging."

He insisted there had been "no investigative leads" from surveillance footage and no "physical evidence" from the tests, which meant the agency "had no ability to question the individuals who were in the White House that day because we did not have any reasonable suspicion to link them to the contraband item."

"Unfortunately because of that lack of evidence, we just were not able to make a definitive identity of a potential person of interest," Guglielmi concluded, though he added that if SoF magazine really did have sources that said otherwise then the agency would be interested in reviewing that information.

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