Man charged with sending ricin letters to appear in federal court

The Mississippi martial arts instructor charged with sending ricin-laced letters to the White House and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) is expected to appear in federal court Monday.

James Everett Dutschke was arrested Saturday at his home by federal marshals. His arrest came just days after police dropped charges against Elvis impersonator Paul Kevin Curtis.

Curtis's attorney suggested in a press conference following his release that the letters may have been sent by Dutschke to intentionally frame Curtis as part of a longstanding feud between the two men.

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"We are relieved but also saddened. This crime is nothing short of diabolical," Curtis's attorney, Christi McCoy, told The Associated Press. "I have seen a lot of meanness in the past two decades, but this stops me in my tracks."

Dutschke has been charged with knowingly developing, producing, stockpiling, transferring, acquiring, retaining and possessing a biological agent, toxin and delivery system, for use as a weapon and with attempting, threatening and conspiring to do the same, according to the U.S. Attorney Office for the Northern District of Mississippi. He could face life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Dutschke, a former Republican candidate for the Mississippi state house, told the AP that he was innocent and did not send the letters.

"I wouldn't recognize ricin if I saw it," he said. "Everybody has something suspicious in their house. But no, there is nothing related to these letters."

According to ABC News, Dutschke was arrested earlier this year on two child molestation charges.