Criminal Justice

Man charged with sending letter tainted with deadly poison to federal judge

A Washington state man has been indicted and arrested, accused of sending a ricin-tainted letter to a federal judge in Spokane.

Matthew Ryan Buquet, 37, was in federal court in Spokane on Wednesday, charged with mailing threatening communications. Authorities say the deadly poison in the letter mailed to senior U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle at the federal courthouse was discovered by a court worker during a screening process, according to the Associated Press and Reuters.

There is no known link between Buquet and the judge, and the articles don’t explain whether what was said in the letter, as well as the alleged presence of ricin, is also at issue in the criminal case.

However, CNN and KXLY articles indicate that the text of the letter also may have contained a threat to injure or kill the judge.

An investigation is continuing, but a FBI spokeswoman told Reuters there is no information at this time suggesting any link between Buquet and ricin-tainted letters allegedly sent last month to President Obama and a U.S. senator and judge from Mississippi.

See also “Judge also received letter with possible ricin; a suspect is arrested” “A new arrest is made in ricin case; suspect had been feuding with prior arrestee”

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