Suspect in Ricin Case Pleads Guilty

On Friday, James Everett Dutschke changed his mind in a big way when he pleaded guilty to sending letters laced with ricin to a judge in Mississippi, Roger Wicker a U.S. Senator and the biggest figure of all President Barack Obama.

Since his arrest in April of 2013, Dutschke proclaimed he was innocent and even claimed innocence to another charge that alleged while he was in prison, he attempted to recruit another person to send out additional letters that also contained ricin.

For his guilty plea, Dutschke likely will be giving a sentence of 25 years behind bars. The plea bargain stipulates that the federal charges on his sentence will run concurrently with state charges he could face. He will also fulfill his sentence in a federal prison.

In mid April of 2013, the case became huge headlines around the country when alarms at a mail center facility went off. The facility sorts the mail for Congressional offices and the Capitol.

At the facility, authorities found a letter addressed to Senator Wicker that contained powder than was tested and came back positive for ricin.

The following day, another letter was stopped at the sorting facility for the White House. That letter had been addressed to President Obama.

Both of the letters authorities intercepted were postmarked in Memphis. That helped lead investigators to believe the person that had sent them was from either northern Mississippi or west Tennessee.

A number of days later, police closed in an Elvis impersonator named Kevin Curtis. He was arrested after the police found his posting on Facebook that mirrored the language in the letters with ricin.

Curtis also had written about a network of organ trafficking he thought existed at a medical center nearby.

However, charges against him were dismissed and he was released. Authorities then focused on Dutschke a karate instructor who is said to have had a feud for a long time with Curtis.

Prosecutors believe that Dutschke attempted to frame Curtis for the letter mailing crime. He invited the investigators to look over his karate studio and home, while he conducted his own interviews with print and television reporters. However, he was arrested in late April when ricin traces were found in his karate studio.

 



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