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In a dash to nab a suspect in the ricin letter mailings to President Obama and a Mississippi Senator, authorities pegged Paul Kevin Curtis as a chief suspect. Now that the charges against Curtis have been dropped and details involving the case and the ongoing investigation have begun to emerge. Allegedly, Curtis wasn’t even aware of what the lethal poison was.

Curtis, 45, was freed yesterday (April 23) ahead of his scheduled preliminary hearing. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Mississippi man was clueless about the poisoned letters that were sent to the President, a senator from his home state and a judge.

“I thought they said ‘rice,'” remarked Curtis of his arrest by federal authorities. “And I said, ‘I don’t even eat rice.’“

Although the charges have been dropped “without prejudice,” the terms do state that Curtis can be charged if new developments occur. Investigators have located a new suspect, which Curtis’ attorney artfully mentioned to the press as he and his client emerged publicly last evening.

“The government was able to basically find another suspect who we believe is the true perpetrator,” said attorney Christi McCoy, at a news conference in Oxford, Miss. The attorney has openly said that her client may have been the victim of framing.

J. Everett Dutschke (pictured), a former candidate for the Mississippi Statehouse, is now the focus of the FBI and told the Associated Press he has been questioned. Dutschke also denied any wrongdoing in the case as well.

“I’m a patriotic American. I don’t have any grudges against anybody. I did not send the letters,” Dutschke said. “I love my country.”

According to a Business Insider report, Dutschke is under a child molestation investigation in Lee County.

Photo: The Smoking Gun