OXFORD, Miss. - A Mississippi man was arrested Wednesday, accused of sending letters to President Obama and a senator that tested positive for poisonous ricin and set the nation's capital on edge a day after the Boston Marathon bombings.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen said Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, was arrested at 5:15 p.m. at his apartment in Corinth, near the Tennessee state line about 100 miles east of Memphis.
Authorities still waited for definitive tests on the letters to Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss. Preliminary field tests can often show false positives for ricin. The letters were intercepted before reaching the White House or Senate.
An FBI intelligence bulletin said both were postmarked Memphis, Tenn.
Both letters said: "To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance." Both were signed, "I am KC and I approve this message."
Reports of suspicious items also came in from at least three senators' offices in their home states.
Sen. Carl Levin said a staff member at his Saginaw, Mich., office would spend the night in a hospital as a precaution after discovering a suspicious letter. The staff member had no symptoms, Levin said in a statement.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said suspicious letters at his Phoenix office were cleared with nothing dangerous found.
All the activity came as tensions were high in Washington and across the country after Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured more than 170.
Multiple online posts on various websites under the name Kevin Curtis refer to a conspiracy he claimed to uncover when working at a local hospital from 1998 to 2000.
The author wrote the conspiracy that began when he "discovered a refrigerator full of dismembered body parts & organs wrapped in plastic in the morgue of the largest non-metropolitan healthcare organization in the United States of America."
Curtis wrote that he was trying to "expose various parties within the government, FBI, police departments" for what he believed was "a conspiracy to ruin my reputation in the community."
"To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance. I am KC and I approve this message,"
author of two letters testing positive for poisonous ricin