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Suspect Arrested in Mail Threat After Letters Tested Positive for Ricin

10-03-2018

WASHINGTON – A US Navy veteran in Utah was arrested Wednesday in connection with suspicious envelopes that were sent to President Donald Trump and top military chiefs.

Officials have identified the man as William Clyde Allen III, and he was taken into FBI custody.

The Secret Service has confirmed that it intercepted a suspicious envelope addressed to President Donald Trump.

The agency said in a statement Tuesday that the envelope "was not received at the White House, nor did it ever enter the White House."

Just one day later, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency detected a suspicious substance on two pieces of mail at the Pentagon's remote screening facility, according to a US Defense Department official.

The mail facility is located in a separate building on the grounds of the Pentagon. According to a release, "the envelopes were taken by the FBI" for further analysis. 

Sources tell CBN News the mail initially tested positive for ricin. But it turns out the two envelopes once thought to contain ricin were later found to contain castor seeds, which is the source from which ricin can be derived.

Meanwhile, the Secret Service noted that the letters sent to the Pentagon were addressed to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Navy Admiral John Richardson.

However, they did not say whether the letter intended for the White House contained ricin or if it was related to the letters sent to the Pentagon. The Associated Press reports the White House had no comment.

Ricin is a highly toxic compound that has been used in terror plots. It can be used in powder, pellet, mist or acid form.

If ingested, it causes nausea, vomiting and internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines, followed by failure of the liver, spleen, and kidneys, and death by collapse of the circulatory system.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz' (R-TX) campaign office in Houston also received mail Tuesday containing a powdery substance. Office staff opened an envelope containing white powder.

A hazardous materials response team was dispatched to Cruz's office to investigate a mailed envelope that contained the powder, the campaign confirmed to CBN News.

Multiple fire trucks and at least one hazmat truck were spotted on the scene after the letter was opened by campaign staff and reported to authorities.

At this time, it's unclear whether the substance was found to be toxic or not.

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