Suspect arrested for ricin letters sent to Obama, senator - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Suspect arrested for ricin letters sent to Obama, senator

(RNN) - A suspect who the FBI says sent letters that tested positive for ricin to President Barack Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-MS, has been arrested.

FBI special agents took Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, of Corinth, MS, into custody at his home on Wednesday.

Corinth is near the Tennessee-Mississippi state border and nearly 98 miles east of Memphis. The letters were postmarked in nearby Memphis, TN.

The letters that were sent to Obama and Wicker were reported to have said, "To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance."

They were both signed, "I am KC and I approve this message."

Field tests showed that the letters tested positive for ricin. However, those tests are not conclusive, and lab test results are expected within the coming days.

The letters never reached Obama and Wicker. They were intercepted at a processing facility.

In a press conference Wednesday night, officials said the suspect will not be formally charged until the finalized test on the chemical substance is proved to be ricin.

They would not say where Curtis is being held.

Curtis has been under investigation because he had been sending letters to Wicker for some time, CNN reported.

Wednesday also came with other suspicious activity at various senators' offices and at the Capitol.

According to the Associated Press, suspicious packages sent to three Senators' offices on Wednesday turned out to be benign, and the person detained and questioned was released.

CNN reported that authorities called the suspicious mail sent to Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake's office earlier Wednesday a false alarm, while the suspicious mail sent to the Saginaw, MI, offices of Sen. Carl Levin are still being investigated. A package sent to Sen. John Cornyn's office in Dallas was also not dangerous.

Ricin is a poison that is present in castor beans, according the New York State Department of Health. It is part of the waste that is produced during the production of castor oil and as such, is one of the most easily produced plant toxins.

The chemical is extremely deadly, and an amount as small as a pinhead, about 500 micrograms, can be enough to kill.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Main Alberto impacts expected to stay east of South MS

    Main Alberto impacts expected to stay east of South MS

    Sunday, May 27 2018 6:29 AM EDT2018-05-27 10:29:00 GMT
    Alberto official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center as of 4 AM 5-27-18Alberto official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center as of 4 AM 5-27-18

    Alberto is forecast to become a fully tropical storm Saturday and then will move into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

    More >>

    Alberto is forecast to become a fully tropical storm Saturday and then will move into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

    More >>
  • Moss Point Police searching for 'armed & dangerous' man

    Moss Point Police searching for 'armed & dangerous' man

    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:53 PM EDT2018-05-27 02:53:04 GMT
    Moss Point Police are warning Devarian Raheem Edwards should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. (Photo source: WLOX)Moss Point Police are warning Devarian Raheem Edwards should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. (Photo source: WLOX)

    A man police believe was involved in a multi-state crime spree that started with an auto theft and ended with capital murder is still on the run. And they're warning Devarian Raheem Edwards should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

    More >>

    A man police believe was involved in a multi-state crime spree that started with an auto theft and ended with capital murder is still on the run. And they're warning Devarian Raheem Edwards should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

    More >>
  • Prep or play? Boaters have to choose as Alberto moves closer

    Prep or play? Boaters have to choose as Alberto moves closer

    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:45 PM EDT2018-05-27 02:45:48 GMT
    Some boats have left the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, others are preparing to ride out the storm if if comes this way. (Photo source: WLOX)Some boats have left the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, others are preparing to ride out the storm if if comes this way. (Photo source: WLOX)
    Some boats have left the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, others are preparing to ride out the storm if if comes this way.Some boats have left the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, others are preparing to ride out the storm if if comes this way.

    Alberto is on its way. But the calm before the storm has given boat owners and people time to both prepare and enjoy some recreational time before the Memorial Day weekend gets cut short.

    More >>

    Alberto is on its way. But the calm before the storm has given boat owners and people time to both prepare and enjoy some recreational time before the Memorial Day weekend gets cut short.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly