Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Wednesday, September 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 55° Partly Cloudy
News >  Nation

Packages with suspected ricin sent to Pentagon, Navy chiefs

U.S Defense Secretary Jim Mattis speaks during a joint press conference with his French counterpart Florence Parly in Paris, Turesday, Oct. 2, 2018. (Christophe Ena / Associated Press)
U.S Defense Secretary Jim Mattis speaks during a joint press conference with his French counterpart Florence Parly in Paris, Turesday, Oct. 2, 2018. (Christophe Ena / Associated Press)
By Robert Burns Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Authorities at a Pentagon mail screening facility found two envelopes suspected of containing ricin, a poison made from castor beans, and turned them over to the FBI for further analysis, officials said Tuesday.

One envelope was addressed to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who is traveling in Europe this week, and the other to the Navy’s top officer, Adm. John Richardson, a defense official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly ahead of FBI release of its findings.

Neither envelope entered the Pentagon. The mail screening facility is on the Pentagon grounds but separate from the main building.

Pentagon spokesman Chris Sherwood said the envelopes had been found on Monday.

Another Pentagon spokesman, Col. Rob Manning, said all U.S. Postal Service mail received at the screening facility on Monday is under quarantine and “poses no threat to Pentagon personnel.”

Ricin is part of the waste “mash” produced when castor oil is made. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if it is made into a partially purified material or refined, ricin can be used as a weapon capable of causing death under certain circumstances.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

The journalists of The Spokesman-Review are a part of the community. They live here. They work here. They care. You can help keep local journalism strong right now with your contribution. Thank you.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.


4 favorite Gonzaga basketball teams

The basketball court at the McCarthey Athletic Center is photographed before an NCAA college basketball game between Gonzaga and BYU, Feb. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) (Young Kwak / AP Photo)
Sponsored

While we look ahead to future seasons of Gonzaga Bulldog basketball , it’s fun to look at highlights from past years.