Ricin letter sent to U.S. Senator Roger Wicker postmarked Memphi - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ricin letter sent to U.S. Senator Roger Wicker postmarked Memphis, TN

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(WMC-TV) – The FBI is now in charge of the attempted ricin attack on U.S. Senator Roger Wicker.

The U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms confirmed the ricin-laced letter was post-marked Memphis. There is only speculation as to why Senator Wicker was targeted.

The U.S. Senate mail handling facility in Washington became a Hazmat scene Tuesday once a letter was intercepted laced with ricin, a potentially deadly poison derived from castor beans.

The letter was bound for Mississippi's Senator Roger Wicker's office on Capitol Hill.

In a statement released after he was briefed by Homeland Security, Wicker wrote:

"This matter is part of an ongoing investigation by the United States Capitol Police and FBI. I want to thank our law enforcement officials for their hard work and diligence in keeping those of us who work in the Capitol complex safe."

Action News 5 spoke with Congressman Steve Cohen who frequently travels back home with Senator Wicker and who was disappointed to learn the letter, with no return address, was post-marked Memphis, Cohen's district.

"It's unfortunate there's a sick, depraved, or type person that would send such a matter through the mail," Cohen said. "It could have been somebody from Arkansas or Mississippi or anyone who could have sent it from Memphis. I'd like to think it wasn't a Memphian."

The letter was sent less than a week after Senator Wicker received criticism for saying DeSoto County had the misfortune of being located south of Memphis during a committee meeting regarding air quality.

While federal authorities, including the FBI, are in charge of this investigation, Memphis Police confirm they have been contacted and will assist if needed.

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