Letter Sent to Fairchild Air Force Base is Being Tested for Ricin



Mike O'Brien
05/31/2013

UPDATE: The FBI has confirmed that tests proved that the lethal poison ricin was in the letter sent to Fairchild Air Force Base.

Original story is below:

A letter sent to Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, Washington, is being tested for possible ricin contamination, the FBI has revealed.

The letter was intercepted on May 22, the same day a similar letter was stopped from reaching President Obama.

Two other poison-tainted letters were intercepted on May 14 with a Spokane postmark, one to a federal judge in the city and the other top a local post office.

The FBI added that it is trying to find a fifth letter it believes was mailed to a CIA facility in McLean, Va.

A 37-year-old man accused of sending one of the letters, containing both ricin and a death threat to U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle, was arrested May 22.

Matthew Ryan Buquet , of Spokane, was charged last week with one count of mailing a threatening communication. He pleaded not guilty and is held without bail in the city.

The judge’s letter and the letter to the post office were intercepted May 14.

The Obama letter was intercepted May 22, along with a similar letter sent to the Air Force base, the Seattle FBI office said Thursday in a written statement.

The FBI said all the letters tested positive for the active ricin toxin, except the Air Force Base letter which is still being examined.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans. Symptoms can include difficulty breathing, vomiting and redness on the skin, depending on how the affected person comes into contact with the poison.

Officials said Thursday that a suspicious letter mailed to the White House was similar to two threatening, poison-laced letters about the gun control debate that were sent to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of the nation’s most potent gun-control advocates.

On Friday the FBI confirmed that a Texas man has been identified as a person of interest in the Bloomberg and Obama cases, adding that the man has not yet been arrested.

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