A Texas actress was arrested Friday in connection with allegedly ricin-tainted letters that were mailed last month to President Barack Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, federal prosecutors said.
Shannon Richardson, 35, also known as Shannon Rogers and Shannon Guess, allegedly also mailed a third letter with the toxin ricin to Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which was founded and co-chaired by Bloomberg, according to an FBI arrest affidavit from U.S. Attorney John M. Bales’ office in Texas. The group’s office is in Washington.
Richardson is accused of mailing a threatening communication to the president and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted, the prosecutor said.
She made an initial appearance Friday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven in Texarkana, Texas, the prosecutor said. She was arrested in Mount Pleasant, Texas, authorities said.
The three letters were mailed from Shreveport, Louisiana, last month, federal authorities say.
Richardson has had minor roles in TV series, including “The Walking Dead” and “The Vampire Diaries.”
The FBI found “very low concentrations” of ricin on the letters, a spokesman said last month.
A law enforcement official told CNN’s Susan Candiotti that they believe Richardson sent the letters herself. She was angry at her husband, the official said.
CNN reported early in the investigation that the FBI considered Richardson to have serious credibility issues when they began interviewing her.
Last week, authorities searched the home of her husband in New Boston, Texas, in connection with the threatening letters to Obama and Bloomberg.
FBI agents interviewed the husband after Richardson contacted authorities, saying she had found suspicious containers in their New Boston home, two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the investigation told CNN. One of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there were questions about what the wife told authorities.
“We’re looking at the credibility of the complainant and using due diligence,” the official said last week.
Both sources told CNN last week that the wife told authorities she found a suspicious container, and ricin research on the computer that she and her husband shared.
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