Feds Focus On Texas Man As ‘Person Of Interest’ In Latest Ricin Letters Case

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Multiple news outlets have identified a man named Nathan Richardson as federal investigators’ “person of interest” in the case involving ricin-tainted letters that were sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, President Barack Obama, and the director of Bloomberg’s gun control group.

According to the Texarkana Gazette, a local newspaper based near Richardson’s home, FBI officials were at Richardson’s house in New Boston, Texas, as of three hours ago.Richardson reportedly came to the attention of the FBI after his wife, Shannon, contacted authorities because she saw “strange material” in their refrigerator and ricin-related searches on their home computer. The Texarkana Gazette claimed Richardson was taken into custody by the FBI Thursday and that, as of Thursday evening, he had not been arrested. On Friday afternoon, the Gazette said Shannon Richardson was “escorted” by multiple FBI agents to the courthouse in downtown Texarkana, Texas, which is about 20 miles from New Boston. As of Friday morning, the paper’s attempts to determine whether Nathan Richardson was still being detained by the FBI were unsuccessful.

Secret Service officials have said there were similarities between the three letters received by Bloomberg, Obama, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns Director Mark Glaze. All three letters warned, “You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns.”

TPM has made multiple attempts to contact the FBI’s Dallas Office about Richardson, but they have not responded. The NYPD, which has also been involved in the case, has also not responded to requests for comment.

Richardson reportedly worked at the Red River Army Depot, which provides maintenance and support for military vehicles. Multiple calls to the depot were not returned. Richardson’s Facebook profile, which contains multiple pictures of him and his wife, lists his employment as being a “Nerd, dork, cracker at Them Streets.” It also identifies him as a 1999 graduate of James Bowie High School in Simms, Texas.

Shannon Richardson is an actress whose resume says she has appeared in small roles in multiple television shows and movies including; “The Blind Side,” “The Vampire Diaries,” and “The Walking Dead.” One photo on her Facebook page dated July 2012 shows her holding a large assault-style rifle and wearing a bikini. According to postings on her Facebook page, Shannon and Nathan Richardson have multiple children together and she is currently pregnant. Neither Nathan or Shannon Richardson have responded to a request for comment from TPM.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com
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