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Texas Woman Arrested For Sending Ricin-Laced Letters

Jack Fink, CBS 11 News | CBSDFW.COM
(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
Jack moved to Dallas after three years at WESH-TV, the NBC affil...
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NEW BOSTON (CBSDFW.COM) – FBI agents arrested actress Shannon Richardson of New Boston, Texas, and accused her of sending the ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York city Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Last week, Richardson had called local police to report her husband had suspicious items in their New Boston home.

But now, one week later, federal investigators say in court papers that it was Richardson herself, who sent the letters laced with the poisonous substance.

On Friday, federal agents escorted Richardson into the federal courthouse in Texarkana. She’s charged with mailing threatening communications.

Richardson is a mother of five.

Documents say Richardson threatened to kill both the President and mayor if they took her guns away, and at one point, she phrased the letter as if her husband wrote it.

Last friday, the FBI and United States Postal Inspectors wore haz mat suits as they searched the couples home.

Agents say thanks to microscopic analysis, they determined the three stamps on the envelopes of the letters she sent came from the same book of stamps that she turned over to the FBI last week.

Court documents say Richardson lied to investigators about her involvement, and that she admitted to placing castor beans, where ricin comes from, near her husband’s golf cart.

We found some photos of richardson on her facebook page. Online, she’s also known as an actress, appearing in shows like the Walking Dead and Vampire Diaries.

Documents say when confronted last week, Richardson’s husband said his wife wanted a divorce and claimed she set him up.

If convicted, Shannon Richardson faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250-thousand dollar fine.

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