​Ricin Charges Against Everett Dutschke​​

By: | 04/28/2013 08:33 AM ET

Everett Dutschke, a 41-year-old martial arts instructor, was arrested for sending powered ricin to President Barack Obama earlier this month on charges of using a biological weapon.

Ricin Charges

Dutschke was detained shortly after midnight by FBI agents at his Tupelo home following searches of the residence and a former business as part of the ricin letter investigation.

He was later charged with “developing … and possessing” ricin and “attempting” to use it “as a weapon,” according to a joint statement by the U.S. attorney for the northern district of Mississippi and the head of the FBI’s Mississippi office.

Ricin is a highly lethal poison made from castor beans.If convicted, Dutschke faces maximum possible penalties of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

His arrest came several days after U.S. prosecutors dropped charges in the case on Tuesday against another Mississippi man, Kevin Curtis, who was released from jail after a search of his home revealed no incriminating evidence.

Dutschke’s name first surfaced when Curtis’ attorney suggested in a court hearing that her client had been framed by someone, and mentioned a running feud between Dutschke and Curtis.Saturday’s announcement did not specify if Dutschke was being charged in relation to the ricin letters, but it noted that the investigation had been conducted by several federal agencies including the U. S. Postal Inspection Service and U.S. Capitol Police.

Dutschke’s attorney, Lori Basham, did not return calls seeking comment, but she told Reuters earlier in the week that her client denied having anything to do with the ricin letters.

The ricin suspect is expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Oxford, Mississippi, to face the charges.