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April 18, 2013

Letter sent to Obama tested positive for ricin, official says

WASHINGTON — An envelope addressed to President Barack Obama and intercepted at a mail processing facility has tested positive for the poison ricin, a law enforcement official said Wednesday.

Officials are conducting additional tests to confirm the result, said the official, who was not authorized to speak to the press because the tests are part of an ongoing investigation.

Investigators believe the letter to the White House may have been sent by the same person who mailed a suspicious envelope to Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.

The Secret Service confirmed that a “suspicious substance” was found on a letter addressed to the president and intercepted Tuesday. Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan did not comment on the nature of the substance.

“The Secret Service is working closely with the U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI in this investigation,” Donovan said in a statement.

FBI field offices in Baltimore and Jackson, Miss., are also assisting in the investigation.

All White House mail is processed at a remote facility not located at the White House complex.

It is common for letters to be flagged and tested for suspicious substances, officials said.

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