Ricin scare at Air Force base a false alarm

A ricin scare at Bolling Air Force Base in Southeast Washington, D.C., on Tuesday turned out to be a false alarm.

ADVERTISEMENT
Two people were hospitalized as a precaution, according to the FBI.

Earlier in the day, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters that mail containing ricin had been sent to the base.

"We’ve had another incident today I’m told at Bolling Air Force Base. Same substance," Reid said.

A week earlier, authorities said President Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), along with a judge, had been sent letters containing ricin, a substance that, if ingested, is fatal. Those letters were intercepted before they reached their targets.

Reid shared the information of the latest potential ricin letter the same day that law enforcement authorities released Paul Kevin Curtis, who had been arrested in relation to sending the earlier letters.

Curtis was released Tuesday after his bond was paid and ahead of a press conference by Curtis's attorney and federal officials. Curtis's attorney, however, cautioned that the case against him had not been dismissed. Curtis has maintained his innocence in sending the letters.

"I was told that they’re going to release this man. He, of course, claims he was framed, so we’ll see," Reid said.

--This report was originally published at 2:03 p.m. and last updated at 5:24 p.m.