Federal authorities released Elvis impersonator Paul Kevin Curtis from custody this week after the Mississippi man was charged with mailing ricin-laced letters to President Obama and Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker earlier this week.
While the man dubbed 'ricin Elvis' was no doubt all shook up, a thorough search of Curtis' property turned up no traces of ricin or the ingredients to make ricin. Instead, investigators followed through on the defense's claim that he was framed by a business rival of Curtis' brother.
Although Curtis was no doubt all shook up over the arrest, the FBI's suspicious minds soon turned to another Tueplo, MS man. 41 year old Taekwondo instructor, Everett Dutschke was doing the jailhouse rock this weekend as he was arrested without incident and investigators in hazmat suits searched the man's home and Taekwondo studio.
J. Everett Dutschke was picked up around 12:50 a.m. Saturday, according to a release from FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden.A local judge, who presided over a 2004 assault case in which Curtis was the defendant, also recieved a ricin-tainted letter shortly before the ones to the US Senate and White House were recieved. However, the judge's son is a state representative who Dutschke unsuccessfully ran against in 2007.
"Dutschke was arrested, without incident, at his residence in Tupelo ... by Special Agents of the FBI," the release reads, then directs requests for further information to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
He has been charged with knowingly developing, producing, stockpiling, transferring, acquiring, retaining and possessing a biological agent, toxin and delivery system, for use as a weapon, and with with attempting, threatening and conspiring to do the same, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Dutschke appeared to have slipped police surveillance twice last week, but both times reappeared as officials searched his studio and a hunting cabin that belonged to a friend of his. Basham claimed that Dutschke had been cooperative throughout the investigation.
Dutschke already had legal problems. Earlier this month, he pleaded not guilty in state court to two child molestation charges involving three girls younger than 16. He also was appealing a conviction on a different charge of indecent exposure.
Some of the language in the letters was similar to posts on Curtis' Facebook page and they were signed, "I am KC and I approve this message." Curtis' signoff online was often similar.
And Dutschke and Curtis were acquainted. Curtis said they had talked about possibly publishing a book on a conspiracy that Curtis insists he has uncovered to sell body parts on a black market. But he said they later had a feud.