Reports: Martial arts instructor arrested in ricin investigation

A martial arts instructor was arrested by federal agents Saturday in connection with the investigation into letters containing ricin sent to President Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and a local official, according to reports.

Everett Dutschke was arrested by U.S. marshals at his home in Tupelo, Miss., the city’s police chief said, according to Reuters.

It was not clear yet if Dutschke had been charged. FBI agents had searched his home and business earlier this week.

The arrest comes less than a week after the man authorities initially accused of sending the ricin letters, Paul Kevin Curtis, was released, and the charges against him were dismissed.

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Federal authorities said a search of Curtis’s home did not find any evidence of ricin.

Dutschke, 41, is a former Republican candidate for the Mississippi state house and a martial arts instructor.

He ran against Sadie Holland, the Lee County judge in Mississippi who received the third ricin letter earlier this month.

Dutschke told the Associated Press this week that he was innocent and did not send the letters.

There were reports that Dutschke and Curtis were acquaintances.

Curtis, an Elvis impersonator, maintained his innocence after he was arrested and said he was framed. The letters included a quote that was on his Facebook page, and were signed with the initials “KC.”

The letters to Obama and Wicker were intercepted before they reached the targets, but they put Washington on edge as they were received in the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing.