US mail suspect described body-parts conspiracy



Corinth (Mississippi): A man accused of mailing letters with suspected ricin to national leaders believed he had uncovered a conspiracy to sell human body parts on the black market and sometimes performed as an Elvis Presley impersonator.

Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, was arrested on Wednesday at his home near the Tennessee state line, north of Presley's birthplace in Tupelo.

Authorities were waiting for definitive tests on intercepted letters that were addressed to President Barack Obama and Republican Senator Roger Wicker. Preliminary field tests can often show false positives for ricin.

Ricin is derived from the castor plant that makes castor oil. There is no antidote and it's deadliest when inhaled.

An FBI intelligence bulletin obtained by a news agency said the two letters were postmarked Memphis, Tennessee.

Both letters said: "To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance." Both were signed, "I am KC and I approve this message."

The letters had Washington on edge in the days after the Boston Marathon bombing. As authorities scurried to investigate three questionable packages discovered in Senate office buildings yesterday, reports of suspicious items also came in from at least three senators' offices in their home states. The items were found to be harmless.

In Corinth, a city of about 14,000, police cordoned off part of a subdivision where Curtis lived. At least five police cars were on the scene, but there didn't appear to be any hazardous-material crews and no neighbours were evacuated. The one-storey, single-family home is similar to the others in the neighbourhood, with red brick with white trim.

PTI