Ricin suspect charged, faces up to 15 years

The suspect arrested for sending ricin-laced letters to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and President Obama was charged with using mail to threaten the president and others.

The suspect, Paul Kevin Curtis of Corinth, Miss., faces as many as 15 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $500,000 fine under the federal charges, which were announced on Thursday by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi Felicia C. Adams and Daniel McMullen, the FBI special agent in charge of overseeing the case.

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Specifically, Curtis is charged with sending mail "containing threats to take the life of or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States" and also sending mail "containing a threat to injure the person of others."

Curtis was arrested Wednesday evening following the mailings to Obama and Wicker earlier in the week. According to the FBI he also sent a threatening letter to a state official.

Both letters Curtis sent were intercepted and tested positive for containing ricin, a deadly poison. Both letters also reportedly were signed "I am KC and I approve this message."

On his Facebook page, Curtis has a photograph with a caption that includes the phrase "To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance." The same phrase was used in the letters sent to Wicker and Obama. Curtis also refers to himself as KC on his Facebook page. 

Wicker told reporters that he had met Curtis in his district when Wicker was a congressman and Ciurtis an Elvis impersonator at social events.

Local Mississippi police have investigated Curtis before. In 2007, according to the affidavit of Curtis's arrest, his ex-wife reported to Booneville, Miss., police that he was "extremely delusional" and thought the government was using drones to spy on him.

Curtis is expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Oxford, Miss., later on Thursday. 

Curtis holds that he is not guilty of the charges brought against him, though he has not yet entered a formal plea. 

On Thursday Curtis’ lawyer, Christi McCoy said the Mississippi man “maintains 100 percent that he did not do this,” according to the Associated Press.

Updared at 1:36 p.m.