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More letters found in ricin case; Air Force secretary also targeted

SALT LAKE CITY — Authorities say they’ve found two additional letters a Navy veteran in Utah sent to members of President Donald Trump’s administration containing a substance from which the poison ricin is derived.

An indictment unsealed Thursday says 39-year-old William Clyde Allen III mailed envelopes to the CIA director and the Air Force secretary as well as Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson.

The Air Force secretary is Heather Wilson.

Law enforcement officers searched a house on Oct. 3 in Logan, Utah. A man suspected of mailing ricin to the Pentagon and President Donald Trump was taken into custody at the scene. (Eli Lucero/Herald Journal via AP)
Law enforcement officers searched a house on Oct. 3 in Logan, Utah. A man suspected of mailing ricin to the Pentagon and President Donald Trump was taken into custody at the scene. (Eli Lucero/Herald Journal via AP)

Allen pleaded not guilty to seven charges, including threatening to use a biological toxin as a weapon.

Federal prosecutors say the two letters containing ground castor beans were intercepted after authorities found envelopes mailed to Trump, the FBI director, secretary of defense and the Navy's top officer. They say Allen's return address was on them.

Charging documents say he said he wanted to “send a message,” but did not elaborate on his motivations.

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