With Ricin Case Crumbling, FBI Targets New Man

Agents raid Mississippi home of former GOP candidate


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Ricin Letters Suspect

4/23 UPDATE: A federal judge this afternoon formally dismissed criminal charges against Curtis. Magistrate S. Allan Alexander signed an order for dismissal after prosecutors petitioned to drop their case since “the ongoing investigation has revealed new information.”

APRIL 23--With federal prosecutors apparently poised to drop charges against the Mississippi man accused of sending ricin-tainted letters to President Barack Obama and two other public officials, FBI agents are searching the home of a former Republican candidate in connection with the dangerous mailings.

Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, was arrested last week for allegedly sending the threatening letters to Obama, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, and a Mississippi county judge. But Curtis has been released from custody amid signs that the case against him has collapsed.

During a court hearing yesterday, lawyers for Curtis contended that he had been framed and pointed investigators toward James Everett Dutschke, a 41-year-old Tupelo man with whom Curtis has feuded. Like Curtis, Dutschke is a martial arts expert, a musician, and a Mensa member.

Dutschke was arrested in January on a child molestation charge in connection with the alleged assault of a seven-year-old girl at the tae kwon do studio he operates. In March, he was named in a three-count felony indictment accusing him of fondling a victim under the age of 16 (each count carries a maximum 15-year prison term). Dutschke, now free on bond, has previously been convicted of indecent exposure.

Dutschke is pictured in the above mug shot.

In 2007, Dutschke was the unsuccessful Republican candidate against Stephen Holland, the incumbent Democratic state representative from the Tupelo area. Holland’s mother Sadie is the judge to whom one of the ricin-tainted letters was sent.

During that state campaign, Dutschke produced a series of videos attacking Holland, including one spot (seen below) that accused his opponent of being a “friend” of the September 11 hijackers (whom, like other illegal aliens, would purportedly be provided free housing, education and health care by Holland and fellow liberals like Nancy Pelosi). The 1:06 video is titled “The Aliens are Coming!”

According to Dutschke’s biography, he has worked as a radio broadcaster, sold insurance, and launched a telecom company. He has listed himself as a member of the National Rifle Association and the conservative Federalist Society, and reported that he was the honorary Mississippi chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

As seen in a series of photos, Dutschke has come in contact with an assortment of Republican elected figures during the course of Mississippi campaigns. These officials include Wicker; U.S. Senator Thad Cochran; former Governor Haley Barbour; and former Senator Trent Lott. Dutschke is also seen in several photos with Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate. (6 pages)