Sunday, February 18, 2018
News Roundup

Cops: Letters to NYC mayor test positive for ricin

NEW YORK — Two threatening letters sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York and his nonprofit in Washington contained traces of the deadly poison ricin, police said Wednesday.

The anonymous letters were opened in New York on Friday at the city's mail facility in Manhattan and in Washington on Sunday at an office used by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the nonprofit started by Bloomberg.

Chief New York Police spokesman Paul Browne said preliminary testing done Wednesday indicted the presence of ricin in both letters but that more testing would be done. Both letters contained threats to Bloomberg and an oily pinkish-orange substance, Browne said.

The people who initially came into contact with the letters showed no symptoms of exposure to the poison, but three officers who later examined the New York letter experienced some minor symptoms that have since abated, police said.

Browne would not comment on what specific threats were made or where the letters were postmarked. He also wouldn't say whether they were handwritten or typed and whether investigators think they were sent by the same person.

Federal officials and New York police were investigating. Browne would not say whether the letters were thought to be linked to any other recent ricin cases.

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