FBI says lab tests link Mississippi man to poisoned letters

Everett Dutschke works on his mini-van in his driveway in Tupelo Mississippi on April 26, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Wells
Everett Dutschke works on his mini-van in his driveway in Tupelo Mississippi on April 26, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Wells

A dust mask and other items seized from the martial arts studio of a Mississippi man charged with sending poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama and two other public officials tested positive for ricin, according to a court document released on Tuesday.

Records seized by the FBI also showed that Tupelo martial arts instructor Everett Dutschke ordered castor bean seeds, used to make ricin, from eBay, FBI Special Agent Stephen Thomason said in an eight-page affidavit.

Dutschke is expected to appear in U.S. district court in Oxford, Mississippi, for a detention hearing on Thursday.

Contacted by Reuters, Dutschke’s attorney, public defender George Lucas, declined to comment.

Soon after the seeds were delivered to Dutschke’s home address, someone using his laptop computer downloaded a publication on safe handling and storage of the poison, Thomason stated.

An agent last week retrieved the contaminated dusk mask from a trash can near Dutschke’s former taekwondo studio. Traces of ricin were also discovered on four items found at the studio, including liquid removed from a drain and a filter containing items vacuumed from the studio floor, the affidavit said.

Dutschke, 41, was arrested at his Tupelo home on Saturday following searches of his home and a former business as part of the ricin letter investigation.

He was later charged with “developing … and possessing” ricin and “attempting” to use it “as a weapon,” according to a Department of Justice statement.

If convicted, Dutschke faces maximum possible penalties of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

The ricin-laced letters, addressed to Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker, as well as Obama, were retrieved earlier this month at off-site mail facilities before reaching their intended victims. A Mississippi state judge also received a ricin-laced letter.

Discovery of the letters fueled more national anxiety in the days after the bombing at the Boston Marathon.

(Reporting by Emily Lane; Writing by David Adams; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Steve Orlosky)


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

Local

Supporters say man accused of robbery was misidentified

A Liberian immigrant couple charged with extorting money from an elderly woman in March will be in court Thursday for a bail hearing, but supporters say it's a case of…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.