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Homeland Security

Utah Man Arrested After Suspicious Letters Sent to President, Pentagon

By VOA News October 03, 2018

U.S. officials have arrested a Utah man in connection with suspicious letters mailed to the president and the Pentagon.

William Clyde Allen of Logan, Utah, was arrested Wednesday and accused of mailing the letters that contained castor seeds, from which highly toxic ricin can be derived.

One letter was addressed to President Donald Trump.

"The envelope was not received at the White House, nor did it ever enter the White House," the Secret Service said Tuesday.

Two letters were sent to the Pentagon – one addressed to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and the other to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson.

They arrived at the Defense Department's mail distribution center near the Pentagon. The Pentagon Force Protection Agency detected the substance during mail screening, so the letters never entered the Pentagon building, officials said.

Ricin is a naturally occurring toxin found in castor beans. If inhaled, ingested or injected in a refined form, ricin can kill a person within 48 hours of exposure. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no antidote for ricin.

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