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Suspicious letter claiming ricin sent to Maine home of Sen. Susan Collins

By Sommer Brokaw
Suspicious letter claiming ricin sent to Maine home of Sen. Susan Collins
Sen. Susan Collins said a suspicious letter was sent to her home in Bangor, Maine, on Monday that claimed it contained the toxin ricin. File Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A suspicious letter was sent Monday to the Maine home of Sen. Susan Collins that the author said contained the poison ricin, according to the senator's communication director.

Spokeswoman Annie Clark said Collins' husband, Tom Daffron, received the threatening letter at their home in Bangor, Maine.

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Bangor police responded to a call to investigate the suspicious letter, officials said at a press conference Monday.

"Currently, we have no information that would suggest the public at large is in any danger whatsoever," Sgt. Wade Betters said.

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The writer claimed the letter contained ricin, a highly hazardous toxin, Clark posted in a series of tweets Monday evening.

Ricin is a compound extracted from castor beans that can be deadly to humans if ingested, injected or inhaled.

"Mr. Daffron, their dog, and parts of their home were quarantined while the crime lab undertook an analysis of the premises," Clark added, saying Collins and Daffron were able to stay in the home.

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Clark said the letter was "the latest in a series of threats against Senator Collins, her loved ones, and her staff."

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The Republican Collins has been subjected to criticism and protests after she proved to be a swing voter who decided to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, after a drawn-out process and FBI investigation into accusations of sexual assault against him.

Collins said she believed one accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, was assaulted, but not by Kavanaugh.

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"He [Kavanaugh] has been an exemplary public servant, judge, teacher, coach, husband and father," Collins wrote in a statement, adding that she hoped Kavanaugh would "lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court."

The letter sent to Collins' home follows other suspicious mailings this month to the Pentagon and White House.

"We are very grateful for the immediate and professional assistance that we received from the Bangor Police Department, the Maine Crime Lab, the Maine State Police Department, the Capitol Police, the FBI, the Orono Hazmat Unit, the Bangor Fire Department, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service," Collins posted on Twitter Monday evening.

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