Mississippi man arrested in ricin letters case




A Mississippi man has been arrested in connection with the ricin letters sent to President Barack Obama.

James Everett Dutschke, 41, was detained by the FBI at his Tupelo home on Saturday and handed over to the US Marshals Service. Dutschke, a martial arts instructor, is expected to appear in federal court on Monday.

He's charged with developing and possessing ricin and attempting to use a biological weapon.

If convicted, Dutschke faces maximum penalties of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

He is said to have links to Paul Kevin Curtis, the man who had charges filed against him in the case, but that were later dropped, as well as to the senator and the judge who also received letters containing ricin.

More from GlobalPost: Charges dropped against ricin letters suspect Paul Kevin Curtis (VIDEO)

According to Time Magazine, Dutschke and Curtis were acquaintances who'd had a falling out, and Dutschke had lost a political race against the judge's son, currently a Democratic state representative, in 2007.

Earlier this year, Dutschke was arrested on two child molestation charges involving three girls under the age of 16, to which he pled not guilty, the Associated Press reported.

Agents from the FBI and the Capitol Police, as well as members of an anti-terrorist response team from the Mississippi National Guard, searched Dutschke's home earlier this week, as well as the premises of his former martial arts studio.

Letters containing ricin were sent to Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker and President Barack Obama were discovered last week at off-site mail facilities and did not reach the two politicians.

Ricin is made from castor beans and can be deadly to humans. It is considered a terror weapon, particularly when refined into aerosol form. It is 6,000 times more poisonous than cyanide.