FBI: Traces of Ricin found at Tupelo busines

May 1, 2013 in News, Statewide News, Top Stories

During the FBI’s ongoing investigation into letters containing ricin addressed to President Barack Obama, Senator Roger Wicker, and a Mississippi judicial official – Sadie Holland – evidence collected by the FBI from the former business, Tupelo Taekwondo Plus, located on Rankin Boulevard Ext. in Tupelo, Mississippi, tested positive for trace levels of ricin.

Because public safety is always the FBI’s first priority in any investigation, that location was immediately sealed off and appropriate public health authorities were notified. 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.

Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans. Ricin poisoning can occur when the substance enters the body through ingestion, inhalation, or injection. To date, the FBI is not aware of any illness as a result of exposure to these letters.

US man in ricin case: ‘I love my country’

April 26, 2013 in News, Statewide News, Top Stories

Charges were dropped Tuesday against the man accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama, Mississippi State Sen. Roger Wicker and a Mississippi judge Sadie Holland, while authorities searched at another man’s home in connection with the case.

The surprising move was announced in a brief document filed in federal court in Oxford hours after Paul Kevin Curtis was released from custody. The charges were dismissed without prejudice, which means they could be re-instated if prosecutors so choose.

Attorneys for Curtis have suggested he was framed, and an FBI agent testified in court this week that no evidence of ricin was found in searches of his home. At a news conference Tuesday, they declined to discuss whether they were told what new information the government had uncovered.

Ricin Letters Case: Attorney says scant evidence links Curtis to letters

April 22, 2013 in Top Stories

Federal authorities have produced scant evidence linking a Mississippi man to the mailing of ricin-laced letters to the president and a senator, his attorney says.

Christi McCoy said after a court hearing Friday that the government has offered no evidence to prove her client, Paul Kevin Curtis, had possession of any ricin or the seed from which it is extracted – castor beans. An FBI agent testified during the hearing that he could not say if investigators had found ricin at Curtis’ home, and McCoy said the evidence linking the 45-year-old to the crime so far has hinged on his writings posted online.

He is adamant that he did not do this, and she said she has seen nothing to prove him wrong.