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Ricin letters probe leads to new arrest

A Tupelo, Miss., man was charged in connection with the mailing of letters containing ricin, a deadly poison, to President Barack Obama and a Republican U.S. senator.

The arrest early Saturday of J. Everett Dutschke, 41, follows the government's April 23 dismissal of charges against Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, an Elvis impersonator from Corinth, Miss., who was initially accused in a probe of the matter.

Dutschke, the operator of a martial arts studio, was taken into custody at 12:50 a.m. without incident, the FBI said.

He is charged with knowingly developing, producing and possessing a biological agent for use as a weapon, said U.S. Attorney Felicia Adams of the Northern District of Mississippi. Dutschke faces possible life imprisonment, if convicted.

Christi McCoy, an attorney for Curtis, said last week that her client may have been framed for the mailings by Dutschke, with whom Curtis had a long-running email feud.

Envelopes sent to Obama, a Democrat, and Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker were intercepted April 16 and found to contain "a suspicious granular substance" that tested positive for ricin.

Dutschke is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander in Oxford federal court Monday, according to Adams.

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