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He was initially charged on March 7 with harassment but that count was withdrawn and he was arrested Wednesday evening on a charge of attempted murder.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

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