JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A federal grand jury has indicted a Mississippi man suspected of sending poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama and other officials.
The 5-count indictment made public Monday charges 41-year-old James Everett Dutschke (pronounced DUHS’-kee) with developing, producing and stockpiling the poison ricin, threatening the president and others and attempting to impede the investigation.
If convicted on the charges, he could face life in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
Dutschke was arrested April 27 at his home in Tupelo. He is suspected of mailing ricin-laced letters on April 8 to Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Lee County Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland.
Dutschke has denied any involvement.
Elvis impersonator Paul Kevin Curtis was originally arrested in the case, but the charges were dropped six days later.
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6/3/2013 4:39:42 PM (GMT -5:00)
FROM THE U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
OXFORD, Miss. Felicia C. Adams, United States Attorney for the Northern District of
Mississippi, and Daniel McMullen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Mississippi, announce:
James Everett Dutschke, 41, of Tupelo, Mississippi, has been charged as a defendant in a five-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury sitting in the Northern District of Mississippi.
The indictment charges Dutschke with one count of knowingly developing, producing, stockpiling, transferring, acquiring, retaining and possessing a biological agent, toxin and delivery system, for use as a weapon, to wit: ricin, and with attempting to do the same, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 175(a) (if convicted on this charge, Dutschke faces maximum possible penalties of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and 5 years of supervised release); one count of threatening the President of the United States by mail, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 871 (maximum penalties of 5 years imprisonment, $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release); two counts of threatening others by mail, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 876(c) (maximum penalties of 20 years imprisonment, $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release); and one count of falsifying, concealing and covering up by trick, scheme and fraudulent device, material facts, to impede the investigation of threatening letters containing ricin, in an effort to make it appear that someone else had sent the threatening letters, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001 (maximum penalties of 5 years imprisonment, $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release). A copy of the Indictment is attached.
Dutschke is expected to appear in the United States District Court in Oxford, Mississippi, on Thursday, June 6, 2013, before U. S. Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander. The indictment is a charge and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.
The indictment resulted from a cooperative investigation by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation-Mississippi and Memphis Joint Terrorism Task Forces, the United States Secret Service, the U. S. Postal Inspection Service, the U. S. Capitol Police, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Mississippi and the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, assisted by the following state and local agencies: Mississippi National Guard 47th Civil Support, Mississippi Office of Homeland Security, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Prentiss County Sheriff’s Office, Corinth Police Department, Tupelo Police Department and Booneville Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys John Marshall Alexander, Chad Lamar and Clay Joyner of the Northern District of Mississippi, and Andrew Sigler of the Department of Justice, National Security Division.