A 37-year-old man was arrested in connection with a letter containing the deadly chemical ricin that was received last week in Spokane, Washington, the FBI said.
Matthew Ryan Buquet was arrested today and charged with one count of mailing a threatening communication on May 14 addressed to U.S. District Judge Frederick Van Sickle at the federal courthouse in Spokane, according to a court filing today.
The letter contained “a threat to injure and kill Judge Van Sickle,” according to a federal grand jury indictment filed in Spokane.
A man from Tupelo, Mississippi, was arrested last month in connection with the mailing of letters containing ricin to President Barack Obama and a U.S. Senator Roger Wicker. James Everett Dutschke was charged with producing a biological agent for use as a weapon.
Buquet appeared in court today with an attorney and was advised of his rights and the allegations, according to court documents. He was appointed a federal defender and a not guilty plea was entered, according to the minutes of a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno.
Representatives of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Spokane didn’t immediately respond after regular business hours to a voice-mail message seeking comment on the indictment.
Robert Fischer, a federal defender at the hearing, didn’t immediately respond after regular business hours to a voice-mail message seeking comment.
Ricin is made from castor beans and has been used experimentally in medicine to kill cancer cells, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. It’s harmful and potentially fatal if inhaled or ingested, according to the CDC.
The case is U.S. v. Buquet, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington (Spokane).
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