An envelope containing ricin was sent to the Capitol Hill office of Sen.  Roger Wicker, lawmakers told Fox News on Tuesday.

Milt Leitenberg, a University of Maryland bioterrorism expert, said ricin is  a poison derived from the same bean that makes castor oil. According to a  Homeland Security Department handbook, ricin is deadliest when inhaled. It is  not contagious, but there is no antidote.

The letter to the Mississippi Republican was intercepted at an off-site mail  screening facility and never reached the Hill.

Wicker thanked law enforcement officials in a statement for “their hard work  and diligence in keeping” those who work in the Capitol safe, adding that the  matter is part of an ongoing investigation by Capitol Police and the FBI. “Gayle  and I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers,” he said.

As of Tuesday night, mail delivery had only been stopped to the Senate, not  the House.

“It is of concern,” Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said after learning about the  incident in a briefing with other senators late Tuesday.

The envelope had a Tennessee postmark and no return address.

The letter inside included an implied threat to effect of: “You haven’t  listen to me before. Now you will, even if people have to die,” Politico also  reported.

Sources say officials are familiar with the person believed to have sent the  letter as the person has sent other letters before.

FBI Director Robert Mueller and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano  were on Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a scheduled talk about cyber security. But  that briefing morphed into talks about Boston, after the bombings Monday.

Senate Sergeant at Arms Terry Gainer conducted a separate briefing for  senators specifically on ricin.

It’s unclear whether the letter had any connection to the Boston  attack.

The mail-screening system was established after the Anthrax attacks of 2001  that closed the Hart Senate Office Building.

Source:  foxnews.com/Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Mike Levine and The Associated Press  contributed to this report.

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