May 29, 2013 10:46 PM
The Daily Advertiser is reporting two anonymous, threatening letters sent to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his gun-control organization contained the deadly poison ricin, police said Wednesday.
Both letters referenced "the debate on gun laws" and contained a suspicious "pink-orange oily substance," said Paul Browne, the chief NYPD spokesman.
One letter was opened Friday at a city mail facility. The other was opened Sunday in Washington at Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
Both letters were mailed from Shreveport, La., on May 20, law enforcement sources told NBC News.
Ricin naturally occurs in castor beans and can be fatal if inhaled or ingested.
Three New York officers experienced mild diarrhea Saturday, a minor symptom of ricin exposure, police said. In Washington, Mark Glaze, director of Bloomberg's lobbying group, showed no symptoms after opening that letter.
Ricin-tainted threats were sent recently to President Obama, lawmakers, judges and other officials.
Last week, a 38-year-old Washington state man was accused of including ricin in a death threat mailed to a federal judge.
Matthew Buquet, of Spokane, was ordered held without bail during a court appearance Tuesday.
In late April, a Mississippi man was arrested for allegedly mailing poisoned letters to Obama, Republican Sen. Roger Wicker and an 80-year-old judge in Tupelo.
The FBI said Everett Dutschke, 41, bought castor bean seeds online late last year. Agents found traces of ricin on several objects retrieved from trash at his Tupelo home and near his martial-arts studio.