US man charged with attempted use of a biological weapon

Suspect was taken into custody by FBI agents at his Tupelo home early today

Everett Dutschke waits for federal authorities to search his home in Tupelo, Mississippi, earlier this week. Photograph: Thomas Wells/Daily Journal/Reuters

Everett Dutschke waits for federal authorities to search his home in Tupelo, Mississippi, earlier this week. Photograph: Thomas Wells/Daily Journal/Reuters

Sat, Apr 27, 2013, 20:18

A Mississippi martial arts instructor arrested early today has been charged with possession of the biological agent ricin and with attempting to use it as a weapon, the US Department of Justice has confirmed.

James Everett Dutschke (41) was arrested following searches of his home and a former business as part of an investigation into ricin-laced letters sent to president Barack Obama and two other public officials.

Mr Dutschke was taken into custody by FBI agents at his Tupelo home early today without incident, FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden said in a statement.

If convicted, Mr Dutschke faces maximum possible penalties of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and 5 years of supervised release.

Mr Dutschke is expected to appear in the United States District Court in Oxford, Mississippi, on Monday.

Reuters