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Charges dropped on ricin suspect

New Jersey residents have no doubt been following the tragedy in Boston. In the wake of the Boston bombings, the shipment of ricin-laced letter to the president were met with swift and decisive action. Paul Kevin Curtis was quickly singled out as the source of the letters. He was arrested and charged with the federal crime of sending a threat to the president. This week the case has taken a surprising turn.

As of now, it appears that Curtis is the victim of an elaborate set-up. The ordeal began when letters sent to President Obama, Senator Roger Wicker and Judge Sadie Holland, tested positive for ricin. Ricin is a deadly toxin that originates from castor beans and has no cure. When these letters were traced to Curtis FBI agents quickly descended on his home and took him into custody. However, all charges have since been dropped since new information has come to light.

Curtis has lived through a horrible ordeal. The charge of sending a threat to the president could have resulted in serious penalties. Now that all the charges have been dropped, Curtis begins the difficult job of rehabilitating his reputation. Charges such as this one are often plastered on the home page of websites and the front page of newspapers, but the news of vindication tend to result in less fanfare.

Whether thrust into the local or national headlines or in the early stage of an investigation for a federal crime, it is important to obtain strong criminal defense counsel. Federal charges require a unique skill set to properly handle the case. The right representation can be the difference between regaining one's life or losing a lifetime of work.

Source: CNN.com, "Former ricin suspect: 'Train has been lifted off my shoulders," Bill Mears et al, 04-24-2013

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