Logan, Utah, Man Arrested In Connection With Ricin Mailed To Trump And Pentagon

Authorities arrested a Logan, Utah, man in connection with envelopes allegedly filled with the deadly ricin that were mailed to President Donald Trump and the Pentagon, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Wednesday.

Logan Police told the newspaper it was working with the FBI regarding an investigation into the suspected ricin letter and that one person was in custody. KSL-TV identified the man as William Clyde Allen III, of Logan, according to U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch.

Rydalch said, according to the television station, that the Justice Department could file formal charges in the case by Friday.

While the FBI declined to confirm the arrest, it added that they were “conducting an operation” at the address 380 N. 200 in Logan, the Tribune stated.

“As it is a pending matter, that is all we can say at this time,” FBI spokesman Doug Davis told the newspaper. He urged that the public should stay away from the location but added that “no wider threat to public safety exists at this time.”

The Secret Service said in a statement that a suspicious envelope addressed to Trump on Oct. 1 was discovered but was not received nor entered the White House. The agency did not comment further on the incident.

“However, in this instance, we can confirm that we are working jointly with our law enforcement partners to fully investigate this matter,” the Secret Service said in the statement. “Further, all threats directed towards the President, or any Secret Service protectee, are treated seriously and fully investigated.”

Fruit and castor oil on the wooden table, Ricinus communis.

A Pentagon official told the Associated Press that two letters that possibly contained ricin was addressed to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the Navy’s top officer, Adm. John Richardson. Mattis was traveling in Europe at the time, the news service stated.

The official told the Associated Press that the envelopes were discovered at a screening facility on the Pentagon grounds and never entered the building. The screening facility is separate from Pentagon’s main building, the news service stated.

Since the discovery, all U.S. Postal Service mail at the facility went under quarantine, Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning told the AP.

“(The quarantined mail) poses no threat to Pentagon personnel,” Manning said, per the news service.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans, which can cause injury if chewed and swallowed. It can be made in the form of a powder, a mist, or a pellet, or it can be dissolved in water or weak acid, the agency stated.

If ricin is inhaled, it can cause respiratory distress, fever, cough, nausea, and tightness in the chest and could lead to death, the CDC stated.

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