Federal agents on Wednesday arrested a suspect in the mailing of letters to President Barack Obama and a U.S. senator that initially tested positive for the poison ricin.
The suspect was identified as Paul Kevin Curtis of Tupelo, Miss., federal officials told NBC News. They said he may appear in court as early as Wednesday night.
Both letters carried an identical closing statement, according to an FBI bulletin obtained by NBC News on Wednesday.
According to the FBI bulletin, both letters, postmarked April 8, 2013 out of Memphis, Tenn., included an identical phrase, “to see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance.”
In addition, both letters are signed: “I am KC and I approve this message.”
Suspicious envelopes were hand-delivered to the Capitol Hill offices of senators from Alabama and West Virginia, prompting evacuations of their staffs, and lockdowns of many more. Two other senators — from Arizona and Michigan — reported that authorities were investigating suspicious letters delivered to district offices in their home states.
People can be exposed to ricin by touching a ricin-laced letter or by inhaling particles that enter the air when the envelope is opened. Touching ricin can cause a rash but is not usually fatal. Inhaling it can cause trouble breathing, fever and other symptoms, and can be fatal.
The world we live in gets crazier by the day.