Letters sent to Bloomberg tested positive for ricin

Holly Bailey

NEW YORK—Two threatening letters mailed to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and opened last week have tested positive for ricin, the New York Police Department said Wednesday.

The letters, first reported by The New York Times, were addressed to Bloomberg and mailed to a municipal building in New York City that houses the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and to the Washington, D.C., office of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an advocacy group Bloomberg founded to lobby for stricter gun laws.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said in a statement that the letters contained threats against Bloomberg and referenced the nation’s gun control debate.

Bloomberg never came in contact with the letters. While those who opened the letters were uninjured, the NYPD said members of its Emergency Service Unit, which responded to the letter found in Manhattan, exhibited symptoms of ricin exposure on Saturday and were treated.

Marc LaVorgna, a spokesman for Bloomberg, declined to comment on the letters. The NYPD said it is continuing to investigate the matter along with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Two unnamed sources told the Times they believe the letters came from the same person.

The Bloomberg letters come just over a month after letters that tested positive for ricin were mailed to President Barack Obama and Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker. A suspect in that case is currently being held without bail.