(Image source from: India News Stream)
A suspect in connection to mysterious letters sent to the United States President Donald Trump and upmost Pentagon officials have been taken into custody by federal law enforcement in the state of Utah, according to a media report.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) tactical and hazardous material response personnel searched the subject's abode outside Salt Lake City.
The suspect in custody is identified as William Clyde Allen, III by Melodie Rydalch, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Utah, said federal prosecutors had authorized the arrest.
"We anticipate filing a complaint Friday in federal court in Salt Lake City," Rydalch told CNN late Wednesday.
Allen earlier served in the U.S. Navy as an enlisted sailor. He joined the Navy in 1998 and left in 2002. He was a U.S. Navy damage control fireman learner during his time period in the service.
Scores of local and federal law enforcement officials were witnessed on the area, and an FBI public information officer in Utah confirmed an operation was afoot at the Logan, Utah, residence.
According to prior reports, the suspicious envelopes were sent to Trump, Defence Secretary James Mattis and the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson.
An informed source told CNN that based on preliminary investigative activity, the White House and Pentagon letters were believed to be connected and the substance in question was a very crude castor bean concoction that authorities were not technically calling "ricin" until further testing.
Ricin is a highly toxic compound extracted from castor beans. It can be used in powder, pellet, mist or acid form. If ingested, it causes nausea, vomiting and internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines, followed by failure of the spleen, liver, and kidneys, and death by illness of the circulatory system.
Dana White, the chief spokesperson for the Pentagon, said in a statement on Wednesday that a preliminary analysis showed the letters contained castor seeds. "The FBI is still investigating," White's statement said.
By Sowmya Sangam