Tupelo, MS -- A Mississippi martial arts expert was arrested Saturday in connection with ricin letters sent to President Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker and a Mississippi judge, federal and local authorities said.
Tupelo Police Chief Tony Carleton told WTVA-TV that Everett Dutschke, 41, was arrested by the FBI and turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service. Carleton did not say what Dutschke was charged with.
Federal agents from the FBI and the Capitol Police, as well as members of an anti-terrorist response team from the Mississippi National Guard, had searched Dutschke's home on Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as the premises of a former martial arts studio Dutschke ran in the city, Reuters reports.
Dutschke's name was brought up during a preliminary hearing for Kevin Curtis, an Elvis impersonator who originally was charged in the case. Those charges were later dropped.
Dutschke, who is currently the subject of a child molestation investigation by the Tupelo Police Department and the Lee County Sheriff's Department, adamantly claimed this week that he had nothing to do with the letters.
Dustchke told ClarionLedger.com in Jackson, Miss., that he feels targeted by Curtis' defense, and that he didn't know why his name was brought into it.
"I guess Kevin got desperate. I feel like he's getting away with the perfect crime," Dustchke told the website.