SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Ricin-laced letters sent to the office of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Washington, D.C.-based gun control group may have originated in Shreveport.
CBS News is citing several sources, including the NYPD, in reporting that the letters were postmarked in Shreveport, Louisiana. Both letters were anonymous, contained an oily, pinkish-orange substance.
The letters were opened Friday in a New York mail facility, and on Sunday in Washington, at the office of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which Bloomberg founded.
The Louisiana Division of the FBI has confirmed to KSLA News 12 that they are involved in the investigation.
Sources say the letter sent to New York contains the message, paraphrased, "This is a taste of what's to come if you come take my gun."
Bloomberg has been outspoken in his call for stronger gun control legislation, not only in New York City and the state of New York, but also nationally. He co-founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns in 2006.
This spring, the group spent $12 million on ads supporting expanded background checks on gun purchases. Last month, the Senate voted against the bill.
In series of tweets Wednesday night, Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover said, "The city of Shreveport, in conjunction with the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force, is working to apprehend those responsible for mailing ricin laced letters to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. We are also taking the necessary steps to protect local USPS & Government Plaza personnel as well as local citizens from any possible harm. Stay tuned to local media sources and outlets for information on how to assist with the apprehension of those responsible."
A statement from the mayor's office followed the tweets, clarifying that "the mail addressed to Mayor Bloomberg was postmarked from a Shreveport postal station, but the origin remains uncertain." The statement also urges local residents to "remain calm but alert to news reports for additional developments in the case."
Anyone with information that could help police should call Caddo Crime Stoppers at (318) 673-7373 or click on www.lockemup.org.
The "Mandatory Stand-Up Talk" says that "one letter contained material that indicated the presence of ricin in preliminary testing," but assures the employees that "We have no reason to believe that any employees are at risk from handling the suspect letter as it passed through the mailstream."
The poison is made from castor beans. It was used in other letter attacks earlier this year against President Barack Obama, a senator, and a judge. A Mississippi man was arrested in that case.
Meanwhile, the FBI will conduct more tests on the letters to confirm the presence of ricin, and is also working to determine whether any additional letters have been sent.