Home Jackson Press Releases 2013 Update: FBI’s Ongoing Investigation into Letters Containing Ricin

Update: FBI’s Ongoing Investigation into Letters Containing Ricin

FBI Jackson April 30, 2013
  • Public Affairs Specialist Deborah Madden (601) 948-5000

During the FBI’s ongoing investigation into letters containing ricin addressed to President Barack Obama, Senator Roger Wicker, and a Mississippi judicial official, 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.

Public health questions should be directed to the Mississippi Department of Health at 601-576-7725.

The FBI would like to thank the local, state, and federal partners involved in this investigation, to include Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Tupelo Police Department, Mississippi National Guard, 47th Civil Support Team, Mississippi Department of Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further Information:

- U.S. Attorney’s Office press release concerning the arrest of James Everett Dutschke