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FBI seeks tips on HOS-related ricin threat

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Postal Inspection Service, and US Department of Transportation are offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual responsible for leaving a package containing the deadly poison ricin at a South Carolina post office in October 2003. A threatening letter was part of the package.

The author of the typewritten letter claimed that he/she is the owner of a tank truck company and demanded that the new laws regarding truck driver hours of service (HOS) remain unchanged. These rules took effect Jan 4, 2004.

A typewritten message on the exterior of the envelope stated: “caution RICIN POISON Enclosed in sealed container Do not open without proper protection.” Inside the envelope was a small metal vial that contained ricin, a white, granular, potentially deadly poison.

The author of the letter claimed to have “easy access to castor pulp” and to have the ability to make large quantities of ricin if the new HOS rules were not repealed before January 4. The letter was signed “Fallen Angel.”

Both the letter and package were found October 5 at the Greenville-Spartanburg (SC) International Airport postal facility. Anyone with information is requested to phone this tip line: 866-839-6241.

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