Ricin suspect faces possible 15 years, $500,000 fine

Olivier Knox
The Ticket

He's reportedly an Elvis impersonator, he was apparently writing a novel about black-market body parts, and now he's definitely in big trouble.

Federal authorities announced Thursday that Paul Kevin Curtis, arrested on suspicion that he sent potentially poisoned letters to President Barack Obama and Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, has been charged with threatening the life of the president. Curtis, 45, appeared in court Thursday.

“If convicted on these charges, Curtis faces maximum possible penalties of 15 years in prison, $500,000 in fines and three years of supervised release,” said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi Felicia Adams and Daniel McMullen, special agent in charge of the FBI in Mississippi, in a joint statement.

Authorities arrested the Corinth, Miss., resident on Wednesday. Letters he allegedly sent to Obama and Wicker tested positive for ricin, a deadly substance for which there is no known antidote. The letters were intercepted at off-site mail facilities. The Clarion-Ledger of nearby Jackson, Miss., posted photos of a man it said was Curtis in the throes of passion—as an Elvis Presley impersonator.

Curtis, 45, faces charges of “knowingly depositing for conveyance in the mail and for delivery from any post office any letter, paper, writing or document containing threats to take the life of or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States” and of “knowingly depositing and causing to be delivered by the Postal Service according to the directions thereon, communications addressed to other persons, and containing a threat to injure the person of others.”

But you want to read about the body parts thing, right?

In an affidavit supporting the charges against Curtis, the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service say that the suspect's letters included the same message:

No one wanted to listen to me before.

There are still ‘Missing Pieces’

Maybe I have your attention now

Even if that means someone must die.

This must stop.

To see a wrong and not expose it,

is to become a silent partner to its continuance

I am KC and I approve this message

It turns out that the affidavit finds the "Missing Pieces" of this puzzle. (Sorry). It notes: "On September 24, 2010, CURTIS posted on his blog that he was currently writing a novel about black market body parts that was titled 'Missing Pieces.'"