FBI arrests Miss. man as suspect in ricin letters

Preliminary tests on letter addressed to US president shows it contained deadly poison, the FBI says.

April 18, 2013 03:34
1 minute read.
US President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama 370 (R). (photo credit: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters)

WASHINGTON - The FBI said it arrested on Wednesday Paul Kevin Curtis of Corinth, Mississippi, in connection with ricin letters sent to US officials, including President Barack Obama.

Curtis is "believed to be responsible for the mailings of the three letters sent through the US Postal Inspection Service, which contained a granular substance that preliminarily tested positive for ricin," the FBI said.

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The letters were addressed to a US senator, the White House and a Mississippi justice official, the FBI said.

On Tuesday, a letter addressed to President Obama carrying traces of a suspicious substance was received at a White House mail screening facility and preliminary tests showed it contained the deadly poison ricin.

An FBI statement said that an envelope addressed to the president and "containing a granular substance that preliminarily tested positive for ricin" had been received.

The facility where the letter was received is remote and is not near the White House, Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said in a statement.

"This facility routinely identifies letters or parcels that require secondary screening or scientific testing before delivery," he said.

"The Secret Service is working closely with the US Capitol Police and the FBI in this investigation."

Also on Tuesday, US authorities had intercepted a letter sent to Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker that preliminary tests showed contained ricin.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama had been briefed on the situation involving the letter. He said that, according to the FBI, there was no indication of any connection between the letter and the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday.

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