A mentally ill San Leandro man accused of sending letters containing white foot powder to government offices in San Carlos and South San Francisco pleaded not guilty to the allegations Wednesday.
The legal sized letters horrified three government employees who opened them — including a 7-month pregnant woman who got the powder all over her hands and arms, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
The substance was deemed to be white foot powder. But its presence in the envelopes prompted evacuations and responses from fire departments and hazmat teams.
The letters were sent on June 20 and July 5, Wagstaffe said.
Making an arrest in the case was not terribly difficult. The envelopes identified Phillip Harold Adams Jr., 37, as the sender, Wagstaffe said. He was traced to the Golden Bear Hotel in Berkeley. White powder was found during a search of his room, Wagstaffe said.
On Wednesday, Adams denied guilt on two felony counts of sending a fake weapon of mass destruction for the purpose of scaring recipients.
Adams remains in custody on $100,000 bail. His trial is set for Jan. 3.