Ricin letters: What's the evidence against new suspect, per the FBI affidavit?
James Everett Dutschke, accused of mailing three letters containing ricin, was arrested Saturday at his home. He is being held without bond until a preliminary hearing Thursday.
The Mississippi man accused of sending poison-laced letters to President Obama and two other public officials allegedly ordered materials used to make the toxic substance on eBay, court documents reveal.Skip to next paragraph
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James Everett Dutschke purchased 100 red castor beans, which can be used to make the biotoxin ricin, in November and December 2012, according to eBay records listed in an FBI affidavit unsealed Tuesday.
“I understand that the number of castor beans ordered is more than sufficient to extract the quantity of ricin found in the three letters," Special Agent Stephen Thomason wrote in the affidavit, Reuters reported. Three letters containing ricin – addressed to Mr. Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker (R) of Mississippi, and Judge Sadie Holland of Lee County, Miss. – were discovered last month.
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FBI agents found traces of ricin in Mr. Dutschke’s martial arts studio in Tupelo, Miss., and on items they saw him dump in a public trash can, according to the affidavit. Agents sealed off the martial arts studio, which is located in a small shopping center.
“The FBI is now conducting further forensic examination for the purpose of identifying trace evidence, residues and signatures of production that could provide evidence to support the investigation,” FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden said Tuesday in a news release.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Dutschke Saturday at his home, and he is being held without bond until a preliminary hearing Thursday in US District Court in Oxford, Miss. If found guilty, he faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for federal criminal charges, which include “knowingly developing, producing, stockpiling, transferring, acquiring, retaining, and possessing a biological agent, toxin, and delivery system for use as a weapon,” the FBI said in a statement.
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