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Wednesday, April 17, 2013 

Man arrested in mailing of ricin-laced letters

A man in Mississippi was arrested on suspicion of sending mail laced with ricin to the president's office and that of a Republican senator:
A Mississippi man was arrested Wednesday, accused of sending letters to President Barack Obama and a senator that tested positive for poisonous ricin and set the nation's capital on edge a day after the Boston Marathon bombings.

Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, was arrested at 5:15 p.m. at his apartment in Corinth, near the Tennessee state line about 100 miles east of Memphis, said FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen. It wasn't immediately known where he was being held.

Authorities still waited for definitive tests on the letters to Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss. Preliminary field tests can often show false positives for ricin. The letters were intercepted before reaching the White House or Senate. Ricin is derived from the castor plant that makes castor oil. There is no antidote and it is at its deadliest when inhaled.
There were at least two other cases like this in the past decade, one around the time of 9-11, and also this one in 2006.

Update: the suspect has been identified as Kevin Curtis (Hat tip: The Jawa Report).

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