Cops Arrest Suspect in Mailing of Ricin Letters

Paul Kevin Curtis of Tupelo, Mississippi, in custody

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 17, 2013 6:59 PM CDT

(Newser) – Federal authorities have arrested a man identified as Paul Kevin Curtis of Tupelo, Mississippi, in the mailing of letters laced with toxin to President Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker, reports the Clarion-Ledger. Not much is known about the suspect at this point, though both letters were signed, "I am KC and I approve this message." Each also contained the message, "to see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance."

The letters were flagged at mail-sorting facilities before reaching their intended targets. Initial tests turned up positive for the poison ricin, but NBC News reports that it's still not clear just how potent the letters were. Further tests are under way. The letters were postmarked on April 8. CBS News says there were three in all, one to Wicker, one to Obama, and one to a Mississippi justice official. (Claire McCaskill had previously said that a suspect identified in the case was known to be a prolific letter-writer to lawmakers.)

A Prince George's County firefighter dressed in a protective suit walks out of a government mail-screening facility in Hyattsville, Md., Wednesday.
A Prince George's County firefighter dressed in a protective suit walks out of a government mail-screening facility in Hyattsville, Md., Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
A Prince George's County firefighter dressed in a protective suit walks into a government mail screening facility in Hyattsville, Md., Wednesday.
A Prince George's County firefighter dressed in a protective suit walks into a government mail screening facility in Hyattsville, Md., Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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