Barack Obama

Ricin suspect charged with threatening Obama’s life

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 April, 2013, 12:25pm
UPDATED : Friday, 19 April, 2013, 12:50pm

A 45-year-old man suspected of sending poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama and a US senator has been charged with threatening the life of the president, authorities said on Thursday.

Paul Kevin Curtis was arrested Wednesday by the FBI at his home in Corinth, Mississippi, and was due to appear in court on Thursday. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and US$50,000 in fines, prosecutors said.

Curtis is accused of sending a letter “containing threats to take the life of or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States” and sending correspondence to others “containing a threat to injure the person or others,” according to a joint statement from the US attorney for the northern district in Mississippi, Felicia Adams, and special agent in charge of the FBI in the state, Daniel McMullen.

The FBI said Wednesday Curtis was “believed to be responsible for the mailings of the three letters sent through the US Postal Service” that contained “a granular substance that preliminarily tested positive for ricin.”

The letters were addressed to Obama, Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi and a justice of the peace in the same state, Sadie Holland.

The three notes all referred to “missing Pieces” and were signed from “KC,” which matched other letters sent to government officials that investigators suspect all trace back to Curtis, according to court documents.

Curtis also wrote about an alleged black market for the illegal sale of human body parts that he thought was being covered up by the government, prosecutors said.

In 2007, Curtis’ ex-wife reported to police that her former spouse was extremely delusional, anti-government and believed the government was spying on him with drones.

The poisoned letters, which are undergoing further tests, were found this week after a deadly bombing at the Boston Marathon. But the FBI said there was no indication the two cases were linked.