Another ricin letter to Obama has been intercepted by the White House mail screening service. A spokesman with the Secret Service has confirmed that the letter was quite similar to one sent to New York Mayor Bloomberg last week.
The letter was reportedly postmarked in Shreveport, Louisiana. Officials have stated that the ricin was “crudely made and of poor quality.” As reported by CBS News, this is the third similar letter received in the past week. In addition to President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg, another ricin-laced letter was received at the headquarters for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, addressed to director Mark Glaze.
All three letters were intercepted and handled carefully to avoid contamination. Three people who came into contact with the letter addressed to Bloomberg displayed minor symptoms, but nobody was seriously harmed by the substance.
As explained by CDC.gov, ricin is a naturally occurring poison found in the beans of a castor plant. Oil from the Castor bean is not toxic. Ricin is waste material left after the oil is extracted. Ricin can be made into a powder, spray mist, or a pellet.
Ricin can be spread by casual contact, through the skin. The ricin invades the body’s cells, halting the production of essential proteins that keep the cells, and the entire body, alive.
As reported by NBC New York, all three letters were postmarked on May 20 in Shreveport. The envelopes did not contain a return address. All three letters contained text referring to gun control:
“You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. The right to bear arms is my constitutional God given right and I will exercise that right till the day I die.”
Just last month ricin letters were mailed to President Obama and Senator Roger Wicker. Both letters were intercepted. James Everett Dutschke, of Mississippi, was arrested and charged with the crime.
The ricin letters to Obama and Bloomberg were both intercepted before they reached their intended target. The third letter was opened by Mark Glaze, but he did not report any illness.
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