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Alleged Ricin Mailer Arrested, FBI Says
Update: The charges against Paul Kevin Curtis were dropped.
Federal authorities arrested a Mississippi man Tuesday for mailing three letters suspected of containing the lethal biological warfare agent ricin to the White House, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and a Mississippi district court judge who authorities have not identified.
The FBI identified the suspect as Paul Kevin Curtis who was apprehended in his Corinth home near the Tennessee border but did not immediately say what specific charges he is facing other than to say he is believed to have sent the letters containing a granular substance that preliminarily tested positive for ricin.
The U.S. Secret Service had quarantined the letter to President Barack Obama that was received at a mail screening facility offsite from the White House, the front of which was cordoned off by yellow tape Tuesday, officials said. Lab test results will take 24-48 hours to confirm if the substance is ricin.
The Associated Press reported that the letters sent to the lawmakers included the same message: “To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance.” Both were signed, “I am KC and I approve this message,” the AP reported.
“There is no indication of a connection to the attack in Boston,” the FBI said in a statement. The letters were mailed April 8, before the attacks.
The mail case broke a day after the Boston Marathon bombings that left three dead and nearly 200 wounded. The FBI has said at least one of the two bombs was built out of a pressure cooker filled with projectiles.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to travel Thursday to Boston, where he will speak at an interfaith service.