An ex-martial arts instructor made ricin and put the poison in
letters to President Barack Obama and others, the FBI charged
Saturday, days after dropping similar charges against an Elvis
impersonator who said he had been framed.
The arrest of 41-year-old James Everett Dutschke early Saturday capped a week in which investigators initially zeroed in on a rival of Dutschke's, then decided they had the wrong man. The hunt for a suspect revealed tie after small-town tie between the two men and the 80-year-old county judge who, along with Obama and U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, was among the targets of the letters.
Dutschke's house, business and vehicles in Tupelo were searched earlier in the week, often by crews in hazardous-materials suits, and he had been under surveillance.
Dutschke (pronounced DUHS'-kee) was charged with "knowingly developing, producing, stockpiling, transferring, acquiring, retaining and possessing a biological agent, toxin and delivery system, for use as a weapon, to wit: ricin." U.S. attorney Felicia Adams and Daniel McMullen, the FBI agent in charge in Mississippi, made the announcement in a news release Saturday.
Dutschke's attorney, Lori Nail Basham, said she had no comment. Last week she said Dutschke was cooperating fully with investigators, and Dutschke has said he had nothing to do with the letters. He was arrested about 12:50 a.m. at his house in Tupelo and is expected in court Monday. He faces up to life in prison, if convicted.
The first suspect fingered by the FBI was Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, an Elvis impersonator. He was arrested on April 17 but the charges were dropped six days later.
Originally published by Associated Press.
(c) 2013 Tulsa World. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.
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