Feds: Ricin traces found in martial arts studio linked to suspec - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Feds: Ricin traces found in martial arts studio linked to suspect

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Everett Dutschke speaks to the media as federal officials search his property in Tupelo, Mississippi, on April 23.  Source: NBC Everett Dutschke speaks to the media as federal officials search his property in Tupelo, Mississippi, on April 23. Source: NBC

TUPELO, MS (NBC) -- Traces of ricin were found in a martial arts studio used by the man accused of sending poisoned letters to President Obama and two other officials, and on a dust mask he chucked in a trash bin, FBI investigators revealed Tuesday.

An affidavit outlining the evidence against James Everett Dutschke also alleges he ordered castor beans — where ricin originates — on eBay in November and December.

The Mississippi man is being held without bond in the case, which has featured several bizarre twists — including the arrest and subsequent release of an Elvis impersonator, Paul Kevin Curtis, who has long been locked in a personal feud with Dutschke.

Curtis, who like Dutschke lives in Tupelo, has said someone framed him to make it appear that he was the person who sent the ricin-laced letters to Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Judge Sadie Holland of Lee County, Miss.

Charges against Curtis were dropped before Dutschke, a martial arts instructor, was arrested Saturday in Tupelo and charged with attempted use of a biological weapon.

An FBI agent testified in court that the ricin in the letters was not very potent and looked like castor beans ground in a blender.

Dutschke, 41, has denied being the culprit.

"I wouldn't recognize ricin if I saw it," he told reporters last week. "Would you?"

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