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FBI searches apartment in ricin letter case

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 18, 2013 at 8:28 pm •  Published: May 18, 2013
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"He's a guy with a big beard," Ward said. "He sticks to himself."

"He doesn't talk," said Ward, who added he was awakened about 7 a.m. by the sounds of "banging and what sounded like a big vacuum."

Building resident Jim Lehman said he was asleep when he was called by a friend. "He said, 'hey Jim, you're surrounded,'" Lehman said. Lehman said he saw workers in hazardous material suits working in a second floor apartment.

"It was all gas masks and the door was open and there were hoses in there," Lehman said.

Sandalo Dietrich would not say specifically why the FBI was searching the apartment.

"Information we developed led us to believe this was a productive spot to search," she said.

Two letters containing the substance were intercepted at the downtown Spokane post office Tuesday.

The Postal Service has received no other reports of similar letters, said Jeremy Leder of the Postal Inspection Service on Saturday.

In a statement following the discovery, the Postal Service said the "crude form of the ricin suggests that it does not present a health risk to U.S. Postal Service personnel or to others who may have come in contact with the letter."

The Spokane investigation comes a month after letters containing ricin were addressed to President Barack Obama, a U.S. senator and a Mississippi judge. A Mississippi man has been arrested in that case.