Man charged with sending ricin-laced card to rival

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.

He was initially charged on March 7 with harassment but that count was withdrawn and he was arrested Wednesday evening on a charge of attempted murder.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

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

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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