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Texas woman charged in Obama ricin threat

world Updated: Jun 08, 2013 10:47 IST

A small-time actor from Texas has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for sending poisonous ricin-laced letters to US President Barack Obama and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Shannon Richardson, 35, also known as Shannon Guess and Shannon Rogers, was arrested on Friday on charges of mailing a threatening letter to Obama. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in federal prison.

According to the arrest affidavit, on May 20, Richardson is alleged to have mailed three letters containing the toxin ricin.

The letters were sent to Obama and Mark Glaze in Washington and Bloomberg in New York City. Richardson, who has played minor roles in a few television serials, was arrested at Mt Pleasant in Texas, and appeared before judge Craven in Texarkana for an initial appearance.

According to media reports, Richardson first came to the attention of the FBI, premier investigative agency of the United States, when she called them to report that her husband may have sent the letters.

She claimed to have found castor beans — from which ricin is derived — and internet searches on their home computer regarding ricin that made her believe he was the culprit, source said.

However, following the investigations, FBI felt that Richardson may have herself mailed the ricin-laced letters to set up her husband.

Earlier this month, a person from Mississippi was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of sending poison-laced ricin to Obama. If convicted, James Everett Dutschke, 41, faces maximum possible penalties of life in prison, and $250,000 fine. Dutschke was arrested on April 27.