Tupelo, Miss. - A Mississippi martial arts instructor arrested early on Saturday was charged with possession of the biological agent ricin and with attempting to use it as a weapon, the US Department of Justice announced.
James Everett Dutschke, age 41, was arrested following searches of his home and a former business as part of an investigation into ricin-laced letters sent to US President Barack Obama and two other public officials.
Dutschke was taken into custody by FBI agents at his Tupelo home in the early hours of Saturday morning, FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden said in a statement.
If convicted, Dutschke faces maximum possible penalties of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and 5 years of supervised release.
Dutschke is expected to appear in the United States District Court in Oxford, Mississippi, on Monday.