FBI arrests Mississippi man in ricin letters investigation
Officers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested 41-year-old Everett Dutschke of Tupelo, Mississippi Saturday morning in connection with a series of poison-tainted letters that were mailed to President Barack Obama and two other public officials. According to Reuters, Dutschke was taken into custody without incident at his home.
Dutschke is currently facing other charges stemming from an April 1 indictment for fondling three girls, ages 7 to 10 during a period ranging from 2007 to 2013. Reuters reported that he was released on $25,000 bond in that case.
FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden told the Associated Press that Dutschke is expected to appear in federal court on Monday. Dutschke went into hiding earlier this week after agents from multiple agencies searched his home and the martial arts studio he operated.
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported that authorities staked out Dutschke’s home Friday afternoon and evening and moved in to arrest him around 1:00 a.m. Saturday. The Daily Journal speculated that the suspect is being held at the Lafayette County Detention Center, but no officials have confirmed his current whereabouts except to say that he is in custody.
Earlier this week, authorities arrested local musician and longtime rival of Dutschke Paul Kevin Curtis, who maintains that Dutschke attempted to frame him for the poisoned letters. His attorney, Christi McCoy, said, “We are relieved but also saddened. This crime is nothing short of diabolical. I have seen a lot of meanness in the past two decades, but this stops me in my tracks.”
Curtis was released Tuesday when charges against him were dropped. Since then, the investigation has centered around Dutschke, who has reportedly harbored a years-long grudge against Curtis.
Dutschke unsuccessfully ran for office twice, once as a Republican in 2007, vying with Democratic Rep. Steve Holland for a seat in Congress, and then again in 2008 as a Democrat, running for Lee County Election Commissioner.
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