Agencies offer $100,000 reward in ricin letter investigation

| 1/12/2004

The Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General, the Postal Inspection Service and the FBI are jointly investigating and offering a $100,000 reward for information about a case in which a letter containing deadly ricin was found at a Greenville, SC, postal facility last October.

The letter was addressed to the Department of Transportation, and the sender was protesting the new hours-of-services rules for truck drivers. The typewritten letter was from someone who claimed to be a fleet owner of a tanker company. It demanded that present laws regarding HOS remain unchanged.

A typewritten message on the envelope’s exterior said, “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 U.S. Department of Justice said.

Justice Department officials cited the following as a representation of the language contained in the threat letter:

“I’m a fleet owner of a tanker company. I have easy access to castor pulp. If my demand is dismissed I’m capable of making Ricin. My demand is simple. January 4, 2004 starts the new hours of service for trucks, which include a ridiculous ten hours in the sleeper berth. Keep at eight or I will start dumping. You have been warned this is the only letter that will be sent by me. FALLEN ANGEL.”

The reward will be for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the letter. Anyone having information should contact the Tip Line at 1-866-839-6241.