Man, 37, arrested in probe of ricin-laced letters found in Washington state
May 23, 2013 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
- NEW: Matthew Buquet will stay in custody until at least next Tuesday, FBI says
- The 37-year-old threatened to "injure and kill" a federal judge, an indictment alleges
- Tests showed ricin was found with the threatening letter, the FBI says
- He was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Washington state
(CNN) -- A 37-year-old man arrested Wednesday in Washington state as part of an investigation of ricin-laced letters threatened in one such letter to injure and kill a federal judge, a grand jury indictment alleges.
FBI agents arrested Matthew Ryan Buquet on Wednesday afternoon, and he made his initial court appearance in Spokane later in the day, the federal agency's Washington state office said in a news release.
Buquet remained in custody after the appearance, and he'll stay behind bars at least until a bail hearing takes place next Tuesday afternoon, FBI spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich said.
A grand jury charged Buquet with mailing threatening communication, claiming he "knowingly and willfully" mailed through the U.S. Postal Service a letter "containing a threat to injure and kill Judge (Fred) Van Sickle," according to the indictment.
Van Sickle is a senior judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.
In a subsequent news release, the FBI said tests -- conducted by that agency and the Spokane Regional Health District -- showed that a suspicious substance found with the letter was "active ricin toxin."
"Our coordinated team acted swiftly to resolve a potentially dangerous situation, and continues working tirelessly around the clock to investigate the origin of the letters and to address any remaining, potential risks," said Laura Laughlin, the FBI's special-agent-in-charge at the bureau's Seattle office.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has been trying to find the source of the two letters containing ricin since they were intercepted in a screening procedure at a postal facility in Spokane, the FBI said last week.
The American Postal Workers Union earlier did say a ricin-laced letter was sent to a judge in Spokane, the northeastern Washington city in which Van Sickle works.
Another letter reportedly containing the toxin was directed to the Spokane Post Office, the union said. Both letters were postmarked May 14.
Postal Service management told employees they weren't at risk from handling the letters because the suspected substance was not in a form that could be inhaled or readily ingested, the union said. That said, preliminary lab tests did indicate it was indeed ricin.
If inhaled, injected or ingested, less than a pinpoint of ricin can kill a person within 36 to 48 hours because of the failure of the respiratory and circulatory systems. There is no known antidote for the toxin, which is derived from castor beans.
CNN's Amanda Watts contributed to this report.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1207 GMT (2007 HKT)
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1322 GMT (2122 HKT)
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.