After charges were dropped against Paul Kevin Curtis, the FBI's focus turned to J. Everett Dutschke's Tupelo, Miss., home Tuesday afternoon as they try to find who is responsible for sending three ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and Lee county Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland.
The surprising move was announced in a brief document filed in federal court in Oxford hours after Curtis was released from custody. The charges were dismissed without prejudice, which means they could be re-instated if prosecutors so choose.
Dutschke said he was shocked that the investigation into the ricin-laced letters turned from Curtis to him. Still, he gave the FBI permission to search his Canal Street home and he's confident they'll find no traces of ricin inside.
As the FBI, Capitol Hill police, U.S. Marshals, and several other agencies stood guard outside Dutschke's home, he spent his time serving almost as his own public relations person. Some of the federal agents were seen wearing hazmat suits. Dutschke said he counted at least 30 law enforcement agents.
"I sent a phone picture to the AP because I'm allowed to break the lines and you guys are stuck up here," he told FOX13 News.
After giving the media four different updates, Dutschke 's lawyer told him to stop talking.
However before his attorney-issued gag-order, Dutschke emphatically denied having anything to do with sending poisoned letters to President Obama, Sen. Wicker and Jude Holland.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE RICIN LETTERS CASE
"My family knows I didn't have anything to do with this," he said. "The people who actually know me know I didn't have anything to do with this, and quite frankly, the people that don't know that this is just crazy. This is just insane."
Christi McCoy, Curtis' attorney said in a federal court room Monday that Dutschke may have set her client up because they didn't get along.
"What she had not known, is by that time I had already been talking to the FBI for a week," Dutschke said. "We met last Thursday here. They did a search of the house. We talked for a couple hours at that time all the conversation revolved around Kevin Curtis."
Though he admits to being questioned by authorities about Curtis , Dutschke says he really doesn't know Curtis. He says they met twice and the last time they were in contact was almost three years ago when he sent Curtis an e-mail, asking him to take down what he calls a fake Mensa certificate, a membership group for people with high IQs.
"I told him if he didn't remove that, I would sue him because it was fraud," Dutschke said.
Dutschke said he would like fed's investigation to be over soon and that he's concerned about the safety of his wife and three children.
"I tell you it just blows my mind that the paranoid anti-government schizophrenic is the one that wraps up me in his fantasy world, who is a patriotic American, I'm a patriotic American. I don't have any grudges against anybody. I did not send the letters."
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