Federal agents on Wednesday arrested a suspect in the mailing of letters to President Barack Obama and a U.S. senator that initially tested positive for the poison ricin.
The suspect was identified as Kenneth Curtis of Tupelo, Miss., federal officials told NBC News.
Both letters carried an identical closing statement, according to an FBI bulletin obtained by NBC News on Wednesday.
According to the FBI bulletin, both letters, postmarked April 8, 2013 out of Memphis, Tenn., included an identical phrase, “to see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance.”
In addition, both letters are signed: “I am KC and I approve this message.”
According to Mark Memmott for NPR
A letter addressed to President Obama containing a substance that preliminary tests indicate was the deadly poison ricin has been intercepted at a remote mail facility, the FBI confirmed Wednesday.
Just a few miles away from the White House, suspicious packages delivered to two Senate office buildings brought bomb experts to the scene and forced police to tell staffers to remain in their offices. The packages were removed and after about an hour police gave the “all-clear.”
This follows a letter that tested positive for ricin found yesterday, addressed to Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi. And of course, the incidents raise the possibility — though no link is known at this time — that they are related to the Boston Marathon bombs.
Update from NBC News
A letter addressed to President Barack Obama tested positive for the poison ricin and was from the same sender who mailed a letter to a senator that also tested positive, officials told NBC News on Wednesday.
The letter to Obama was intercepted at an off-site White House mail facility and was being tested further, the FBI said. A federal law enforcement official said that the letter was “very similar” to one addressed to Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.
Federal officials told NBC News that they believe they know who sent the letters, but no arrest was made because authorities were waiting for further test results.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said that the person who sent Wicker the letter writes often to elected officials.