A Mississippi man has been arrested as a suspect in connection to the mailing  of three letters sent to President Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and a  Mississippi official that initially tested positive for ricin, Fox News  confirms.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen said the man was arrested  Wednesday at approximately 5:15 p.m. CT. It is unclear if charges are getting  filed tonight or if they will be filed tomorrow.

The Department of Justice said he was arrested at his Corinth, Miss., home  following an investigation conducted by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces in  Memphis, Tenn., and Jackson, Miss., the U.S. Capitol Police, and the U.S. Postal  Service,  the U.S. Secret Service.

The suspect has been identified as 45-year-old Paul Kenneth Curtis of Tupelo,  Miss., a source told Fox News. Tupelo is also the hometown of Wicker and his  wife.

The FBI confirmed earlier Wednesday that a letter addressed to President  Obama had “preliminarily tested positive” for ricin, a day after lawmakers said  another letter sent to the Capitol Hill office of Sen. Roger Wicker tested  positive for the same substance.

In a statement following the announcement of the arrest, Wicker thanked FBI  and Capitol Police for their “professionalism and decisive action” in keeping  his family and staff “safe from harm.”

Wicker assured Mississippians that both his offices in Mississippi and  Washington remained open for business and thanked the people of Mississippi for  their thoughts and prayers.

The warnings came amid a flurry of reports on suspicious packages. Fox News  learned of several suspicious packages or envelopes in various Capitol Hill  office buildings, and Capitol Police said three packages that were flagged had  been removed.

Separately, the office of Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., reported a  “suspicious-looking letter” at one of the senator’s Michigan offices; and a  spokesman for Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., reported a “suspicious letter” was  intercepted at Flake’s Phoenix office. Authorities were also called to the  Dallas office of Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, over what was described only as “a  piece of mail” — but field tests later came back negative.

According to a Homeland Security Department handbook, ricin is deadliest when  inhaled. It is not contagious, but there is no antidote. A senior Congressional  source familiar with the inquiry into the letters sent to President Obama and  Sen.Wicker told Fox News that the ricin was “low grade” and “not  weaponized.”

The package alerts compounded security concerns in the wake of the letter  incidents and the Boston bombing, which the FBI has said do not appear to be  related.

Both of the initial suspicious letters were apparently intercepted on  Tuesday. They never reached the Hill or the White House.

An FBI bulletin obtained by Fox News said the letter sent to Obama is still  being screened, though it initially tested positive.

The bulletin said both letters included the phrase: “To see a wrong and not  expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance.”

Both were signed, “I am KC and I approve this message.”

The envelopes had Tennessee postmarks, but no return address.

Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, said mail sent to the White House is  screened at a remote site for the safety of the recipients and the general  public. He declined to comment on the significance of the preliminary ricin  result, referring questions to the FBI.

Capitol Police swiftly ramped up security, and lawmakers and staff were  cautioned away from some parts of the Hill complex. After hours of jangled  nerves, officials signaled it was safe to move throughout the area and people  settled back to normal, if watchful, activity.

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer said that an individual who was  responsible for simultaneous suspicious-package incidents in the Hart and  Russell Senate office buildings on Tuesday was detained and released on  Wednesday. The packages were not hazardous.

Gainer said the man was “not particularly harmful, although terribly  disruptive.”

Sources has said Tuesday that officials were familiar with the person  believed to have sent the letters as the person was thought to have sent other  letters before.

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

Click  for more information on ricin.

Source: foxnews.com/Fox News’ Mike Emanuel and Chad Pergram, and the Associated Press  contributed to this report.


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