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Woman charged with mailing ‘granular substance’ to tollway

A north suburban woman has been charged with mailing a “granular substance” in a threatening letter to the Illinois State Tollway Authority in Downers Grove earlier this month.

Cassandra Shepard, 28, faces one Class 3 felony count of disorderly conduct with a false bomb or deadly substance threat, according to a statement from the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.

Shepard sent the letter addressed to the “Illinois tollway bitches” and when employees opened it, they found what appeared to be a granular substance within the envelope, prosecutors said.

Authorities with the FBI, the Illinois State Police, the Downers Grove Fire Department and the Naperville Fire Department Specialized Hazmat Unit responded to the scene and eventually determined the substance did not appear to be hazardous and did not pose an immediate threat to the employees, prosecutors said.

Shepard, who lives in the 1400 block of Howard Street in Evanston, was arrested without incident. She appeared in bond court Thursday and was ordered held on a $5,000 bond, prosecutors said. She is due back in court Oct. 6.

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