June 26, 2013 in City

Ricin-letter suspect Buquet pleads not guilty

Staff report

(Full-size photo)

A Spokane man pleaded not guilty today to developing and sending poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama and a federal judge.

Matthew R. Buquet, 38, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno and pleaded not guilty, said his defense attorney, Andrea George of the Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington and Idaho.

Federal agents arrested Buquet on May 22 after they raided his Browne’s Addition apartment. According to court records, Buquet sent ricin-laced letters to Obama, U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle, the CIA, Fairchild Air Force Base and a Spokane post office.

Ricin is a potentially lethal poison that can be extracted from castor beans. It can cause death if swallowed or injected.

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