The suspect in the ricin case was released on April 23, and the Justice Department is moving to drop charges against him, according to published reports. Paul Kevin Curtis was charged on April 17 with sending tainted letters to President Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and a Mississippi judge, but no physical evidence linking him to the crime could be found. There have been no reports of ricin-related illness among recipients, postal employees or non-postal employees who handle government mail.
Contradictory accounts of another incident also were reported on April 23. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told the media of an “alleged ricin incident” at an Air Force base in Southeast Washington, but gave no details, according to the Washington Post. The newspaper also said that the Defense Intelligence Agency released a statement saying that no suspicious mail pieces had been found.
“Mail screening equipment alerted officials to the possible presence of a potentially harmful substance,” but “after thorough on-scene investigation, no suspicious packages or letters were located. The FBI took samples and will conduct further testing off-site,” the statement said.
The APWU will continue to monitor events closely, President Cliff Guffey said. “Our members’ safety is our top priority.”