The man accused of sending letters containing the poison ricin to President Obama and other officials made a brief appearance in an Oxford, Miss., federal court Monday morning. J. Everett Dutschke, 41, was arrested Saturday, several days after another Mississippi man, former suspect Paul Kevin Curtis, was released.
Dutschke is charged with possessing a biological weapon, identified as ricin, and attempting to use it as a weapon. If convicted, he could face a sentence of life in prison.
Federal agents who are investigating poison-laced letters that were sent to President Obama and others have arrested Everett Dutschke, of Tupelo, Miss. The Daily Journal of Tupelo reports that the arrest occurred around 1 a.m. Saturday.
In addition to the president, letters containing the poison ricin were sent to Sen. Roger Wicker and a Mississippi state judge.
Update at 11:55 a.m. ET. Charges Filed, Court Date Set
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Here's another reminder that a fast-moving news story can completely change. Prosecutors have dropped the charges against Paul Kevin Curtis. He's the Elvis impersonator first arrested in the case of ricin being sent to U.S. officials, as we reported last week.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
Mysterious new developments in Mississippi today in the case of poisoned letters sent to President Obama, a U.S. Senator and a Mississippi judge. Federal authorities are dropping charges against a man arrested last week in connection with the case.
NPR's Debbie Elliott has an update for us. And, Debbie, to start, the initial suspect, Paul Kevin Curtis, is actually free tonight. What happened in this case?
Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 5:40 pm
Update at 6:02 p.m. ET. Charges Dropped:
Federal prosecutors have dropped charges against a Mississippi man they accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Obama and two other public servants, according to a court order obtained by the AP.
"In a court order calling for the charges to be dismissed, prosecutors said the 'ongoing investigation has revealed new information' without providing any additional detail," Reuters reports.
Paul Kevin Curtis was released from custody earlier Tuesday.