Items removed from Dutschke's studio test positive for ricin - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Items removed from Dutschke's studio test positive for ricin

Posted: Updated:
TUPELO, Miss. (FOX13) -

According to an FBI affidavit unsealed Tuesday, items removed from James Everett Dutschke's Taekwondo studio in Tupelo, Miss., tested positive for ricin.

An eight-page FBI affidavit made public Tuesday says that on April 22, Dutschke removed several items from his former martial arts studio in Tupelo.
The affidavit says tests indicated that items, including a dust mask, recovered from a trash can down the street from the studio tested positive for ricin.

MORE: Ricin letters suspect Dutschke held without bond: 

MORE: Dutschke arrested in ricin letter case:

The affidavit also says trace amounts of ricin were found in the studio, and that Dutschke bought castor beans on the Internet.

Castor beans are used to make ricin.

The affidavit ( had been sealed since it was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Oxford, Miss.

According to the unsealed FBI affidavit, a witness stated that Dutschke told witness he could manufacture a poison. He also stated to the witness that he could place the poison in an envelope and the person who opened the envelope would die.

Dutschke also told witness he had knowledge of how to get rid of people in office, the FBI affidavit said. It was on April 22 that Dutschke was observed removing items from the Taekwondo studio. Also on April 22, labels that could match the ones used on the ricin letters were found in Dutschke's trash at his house.

Agents say they witnessed him transporting items in his van to a nearby dumpster, when he dumped them, they retrieved them. Agents removed a Black and Decker coffee bean grinder, latex gloves and a dusk mask from trash.

The dusk mask was tested three times for ricin and all three times tested positive for ricin.

When arrested on Jan. 18, 2013, on a separate charge by Lee County Sheriff's Department, deputies noted that someone using a computer in Dutschke's possession had downloaded documents regarding ricin.

The FBI affidavit said drain traps and swabs from Dutschke's Taekwondo studio tested positive for ricin. He also ordered 50 red castor bean seeds from eBay and paid for them via PayPal.

Documents seized from Dutschke's residence bear the same "trash marks" as documents printed and mailed to Sen. Wicker, Judge Holland and President Obama.

Federal agents in hazmat suits searched Dutschke's martial arts studio on April 24 and his Canal Street home on April 23.

The 41-year-old Dutschke made his first appearance in a federal courtroom in Oxford, Miss., Monday after being arrested and charged Saturday with making three poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and Lee County, Miss., Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland.

Dutschke was ordered held without bond until a hearing later this week when prosecutors are expected to describe what evidence they have against him.

After federal agents arrested Dutschke, he was charged with "knowingly developing, producing, stockpiling, transferring, acquiring, retaining and possessing a biological agent, toxin and delivery system, for use as a weapon, to wit: ricin."

Dutschke has denied involvement in the mailing of the letters, saying he's a patriot with no grudges against anyone. He has previously run for political office and was known to frequent political rallies in northern Mississippi.

He faces up to life in prison if convicted.


FOX13 News reporter Tom Dees and Associated Press writers Holbrook Mohr and Jay Reeves contributed to this report.


MORE: FBI loses contact with Dutschke in Tupelo: 

MORE: Man named in poison letters case goes into hiding: 

MORE: FBI searches Tupelo Taekwondo studio: 

MORE: Government drops charges against Paul Kevin Curtis:

MORE: FBI searching Tupelo man's home in connection with ricin case



Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices