Obama letter: Elvis impersonator charged

2013-04-18 22:20

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Washington - Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges on Thursday against a Mississippi man, who worked as an Elvis impersonator, for threatening to harm President Barack Obama by sending him a letter that initially tested positive for the deadly poison ricin.

Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, was believed to have sent three letters, all with identical wording and type-written on yellow paper, to Obama, US Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland of Lee County, Mississippi.

Preliminary tests indicated two of the letters had traces of ricin.

If convicted, Curtis, of Corinth, Mississippi, faces maximum penalties of 15 years in prison and $500 000 in fines plus three years supervised release.

He did not enter a plea.

The poison scare put Washington on edge the same week that bombings at the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured 176 on Monday, but the FBI said there was no indication the incidents were connected.

Ricin is a lethal poison found naturally in castor beans, but it takes a deliberate act to convert it into a biological weapon. Ricin can cause death within 36 to 72 hours from exposure to an amount as small as a pinhead.

No known antidote exists and the affidavit said it is extremely difficult to detect as the cause of death.


Read more on:    barack obama  |  us

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