Man Charged With Sending Ricin-Laced Card To Rival - New York News

Man Charged With Sending Ricin-Laced Card To Rival

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HATBORO, Pa. (AP) -- A suburban Philadelphia teenager has been arrested on charges he sent a romantic rival a birthday card laced with the deadly poison ricin.

Nineteen-year-old Nicholas Helman of Hatboro was taken into custody at his home Wednesday without incident after a massive police response that included local tactical officers and county hazardous materials experts.

"Warminster Township Police Officers responded to the resident immediately and were able to intercept the correspondence from the mailbox before anyone opens up or was exposed," said Deputy District Attorney Antonetta Stancu.

Helman was initially charged on March 7 with harassment but that count was withdrawn and he was arrested Wednesday evening on a charge of attempted murder.

Investigators allege Helman told a co-worker that he'd sent a poisonous birthday card to his ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend. The co-worker called police.

A neighbor in the complex where he lives shared photos of the arrest with FOX 29. Officials say public safety was their main priority.

"We have taken every precaution to make sure no one is at risk," Stancu said.

Authorities said ingredients for making ricin were recovered from Helman last week and preliminary testing on the birthday card tested positive for ricin.

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