Saturday, June 29, 2013

Security: Texas woman indicted for mailing ricin letters to President Obama, others

U.S. Attorney’s Office 
Eastern District of Texas

TYLER, TX—A 35-year-old New Boston, Texas woman has been indicted and charged with federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.

Shannon Guess Richardson was named in a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on June 27, 2013. The indictment charges Richardson with threatening the president of the United States, mailing a threatening letter to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and mailing a threatening letter to Mark Glaze.

According to the indictment, on or about May 20, 2013, Richardson is alleged to have mailed three threatening letters containing the toxin ricin. The letters were sent to President Barack Obama and Mark Glaze in Washington, D.C., and to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York City. Richardson was arrested on June 7, 2013, in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, and has been detained since that time.

If convicted, Richardson faces up to five years in federal prison on each charge.

This case is being investigated by the FBI; the U.S. Secret Service; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the Texas Department of Public Safety; the New Boston, Texas Police Department; and the Shreveport, Louisiana Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brit Featherston, Frank Coan, and Ryan Locker of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas.

It is important to note that an indictment should not be considered as evidence of guilt and that all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.