Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Many Posts, But Little Pointing To Grudge In Online Life Of Ricin Suspect

The 38-year-old man accused of sending ricin-laced letters to a federal judge and the Spokane post office had an active social media presence. But his online profiles contain no hints at a grudge toward the federal government.

This was also not his first run-in with the law.

Federal agents in hazmat gear searched Matthew Ryan Buquet’s apartment last Saturday for evidence related to ricin, a dangerous toxin made from castor beans.

Arthur Meredith lives in the same complex. He says Buquet's neighbors don't know a lot about him, and police haven’t told them much. “That was the uncomfortable part, living here, living right next to it, sitting, it's a nice day, the windows are open and nobody's willing to give me any information.”

In 1998, Buquet pleaded guilty to committing “indecent liberties” with an 10-year-old girl in Spokane. He served time in jail and was required to register as a sex offender, though Buquet is no longer on the list. Two years later, he filed for bankruptcy.

On his Facebook page, Buquet often posted about the ups and downs of the economy, college basketball and new cell phones. One of his “likes” is the Spokane Police Department. The month before he was arrested, he posted about spending his Saturday at the Home and Garden show in Spokane.

Buquet was born in Bogota, Colombia, though in one online post he says he was adopted into a religious U.S. family. In several court documents, he made a point of crossing out portions of the form that applied to non-U.S. Citizens.

Authorities say the ricin Buquet allegedly sent on May 14 was not in a form that could be easily inhaled and no one has become ill.

Buquet worked as a janitor up until a month ago, according to the cleaning services company that employed him. On his Facebook page, he lists his current employer as Precision Blasting Services. The Ohio-based company listed says it doesn't know him.