The Coen Brothers script on acid that is the attempted ricin poisoning of President Obama, a senator, and a judge got zanier today with the release of an FBI affidavit running down evidence in the case. While authorities found nothing linking the first suspect, an Elvis impersonator obsessed with organ harvesting named Paul Kevin Curtis, to the crimes, they have a boatload against his “archnemesis,” Tae Kwon Do instructor and accused child molester J. Everett Dutschke. While Dutschke (allegedly) managed to frame his rival well enough to get him arrested — mostly by using Curtis’s initials on the poisoned letters — he does not seem to have covered his tracks with the same care.
According to the FBI, Dutschke went back to his former Mississippi “dojo” to clean up after he was already under surveillance:
DUTSCHKE informed the property manager he needed to recover a fire extinguisher, a mop, and a bucket he left at the location. DUTSCHKE was observed by surveillance personnel removing items from the location and placing them into a red, 1993 Mercury Villager-Sport Van, Tag No. LEJ099. After departing the former business location, DUTSCHKE drove a short distance, approximately 100 yards, and was observed discarding several items through the window of the vehicle into a public garbage receptacle.
Yes, he knew he should leave some space between the suspected scene of the crime and the trash can, but how he decided on just 100 yards, we cannot be sure.
After DUTSCHKE departed the area, personnel from the Jackson Division of the FBI and the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security recovered the items. Observed inside the garbage receptacle were the following items: the box for a Black and Decker SmartGrind coffee grinder, a box containing latex gloves, a dust mask, and an empty bucket of floor adhesive. Based on my training and experience, I know that a coffee bean grinder could be utilized in the process of extracting ricin from castor beans. Furthermore, latex gloves and a dustmask could be utilized as personal protective equipment while the castor beans are being crushed to protect the producer from an accidental exposure.
All of the items tested positive for ricin, as did samples taken from inside the dojo and its drain. While Dutschke cleared both his computer and his printer histories, he could not erase his eBay purchases:
Also, on April 24, 2013, agents obtained records indicating that DUTSCHKE ordered castor bean seeds utilizing eBay and paid for the seeds via PayPal. Specifically, DUTSCHKE paid for 50 red castor bean seeds on or about November 17, 2012. He made a second purchase of 50 red castor bean seeds on or about December 1, 2012. […] I understand that the number of castor beans ordered is more than sufficient to extract the quantity of ricin found in the three letters.
Unless someone did a much better job framing Dutschke than he seems to have done framing his enemy, it doesn’t look good for this guy.