The U.S. Court for the Northern District of Mississippi unsealed an indictment Monday against J. Everett Dutschke for allegedly mailing ricin-laced letters in April to President Barack Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), and a local judge in an attempt to “frame” a rival. Dutschke, a taekwondo teacher, failed political candidate, blues singer, and alleged child molester, faces charges on five separate counts, the most serious of which means he could face up to life imprisonment.The main charge against Dutschke is that he “did knowingly develop, produce, stockpile, transfer, acquire, retain and possess a biological agent, toxin, and delivery system,” namely ricin. According to the indictment, Dutschke “used the internet and other sources to research the production and use of ricin” and purchased the castor beans or seeds necessary to produce the poison “from vendors via eBay and PayPal.”
Dutschke is also being charged with sending mail “containing a threat to take the life of and to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States.” He is also charged with threatening two Mississippi officials who received letters tainted with ricin; Wicker and a judge named Sadie Holland. Holland is the mother of a man who defeated Dutschke in an unsuccessful 2007 campaign for state office.
An Elvis impersonator named Paul Kevin Curtis was initially arrested in conjunction with the ricin case. Investigators were initially drawn to Curtis because of similarities between the text in the toxin-tainted mailings and his online writings, which detailed his belief in an illegal organ harvesting conspiracy. Curtis and his attorney suggested Dutschke was attempting to frame him due to their longstanding feud stemming from rivalries over their martial arts and music.
Dutschke was arrested April 27 after investigators allegedly found records of his castor bean purchases and traces of ricin in his taekwondo studio and on items he was attempting to throw out. Because of these attempts to dispose of evidence, Dutschke was also charged with trying to “falsify, conceal and cover up by trick,” what the indictment described as a “scheme” to “retaliate against and frame Paul Kevin Curtis.” Dutschke has previously denied any involvement in the ricin mailings.
View the indictment against Dutschke below.