Ricin arrest: Feds say they are confident the second time around

As the above post title implies, federal investigators were less than certain regarding their initial suspicions that led them to the wrong man in the recent poisonous letters incident regarding the deadly powder ricin.

They say they got it right the second time, with a Mississippi man currently under arrest for sending ricin-laced letters to President Obama, a Mississippi senator and another public official.

What stands out for some commentators on the matter is the active role played by the first man’s criminal defense attorney, who told reporters after a hearing last week that “not one single shred of evidence was found to indicate [her client] could have done this.”

Indeed, that is what investigators ultimately determined to be the case. Federal agents stated that following their arrest of the first man, who said he had never even heard of ricin, no physical evidence was found to indicate that he had either made or sent ricin through the mail. Their investigation eventually led to the second man, who may have attempted to steer the investigatory focus to the initially arrested party by setting him up.

The first man, against whom all charges were dropped last week, termed the matter “a nightmare” for his family and stated that he “would never do anything to pose a threat” to American government officials.

His attorney acted forcefully throughout the matter in promoting his legal interests, arguing that the government lacked probable cause to hold her client. Following his release, she commended government investigators, saying that, “They went where the evidence led, realized it was a dead end, and went where true evidence was.”

Source: ABC News, “FBI: Miss. man arrested in connection with poisonous letters,” Alexis Shaw, April 27, 2013