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Mail suspected of containing ricin sent to Pentagon; suspicious letter addressed to Trump

By COREY DICKSTEIN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 2, 2018

WASHINGTON — The FBI is investigating suspicious envelopes addressed to President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Adm. John Richardson — the latter of which were found to contain a substance believed to be the deadly poison ricin, a defense official said Tuesday.

In a statement Tuesday evening, the Secret Service says the envelope addressed to Trump was not received at the White House, nor did it ever enter the White House. The agency did not speak to the contents of the envelope or where it was received on Monday.

The White House had no comment.

The two letters addressed to Mattis and Richardson were discovered Monday at the Pentagon’s mail sorting center, a defense official said Tuesday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the FBI was leading the probe into the incident.

Neither Mattis, who is in Paris, nor Richardson, the chief of naval operations, were endangered, the official said.

The letters never reached the Pentagon building, said Chris Sherwood, a Defense Department spokesman. The mail center is located on the Pentagon grounds but in a separate facility built after anthrax was found in government mail in 2001.

The FBI took custody of the envelopes, which were undergoing further testing Tuesday, an FBI spokeswoman said. She declined additional comment.

All mail received Monday at the Pentagon facility was quarantined, according to the statement. No Pentagon personnel were endangered.

Ricin is a deadly poison that is found in castor beans, according the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ricin exposure by inhalation or ingestion can be deadly, according to the CDC.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

dickstein.corey@stripes.com
Twitter: @CDicksteinDC

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