(USA TODAY) -- A TV actress was arrested and charged Friday in connection with ricin-laced letters sent to President Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The arrest of Shannon Rogers Guess Richardson, 35, comes two weeks after Richardson contacted the FBI claiming that her husband, Nathan Richardson, had sent the letters last month to Obama, Bloomberg and Mark Glaze, head of a gun-control organization co-founded by Bloomberg.
Richardson, according to a federal criminal complaint, is charged with mailing a threatening communication to the the president. An arrest affidavit says Richardson mailed the letters on May 20. She made an initial court appearance in Texas Friday afternoon. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison.
Nathan Richardson, a 33-year-old Army veteran, was questioned by the FBI last week. He's been married to Ms. Richardson, a former Dallas beauty queen, since 2011. She has had minor roles in cable TV series The Walking Dead and The Vampire Diaries.
Richardson contacted agents after she said she found a suspicious substance in her refrigerator and ricin-related Internet searches on the couple's computer. But investigators said she had sent the letters.
Attorney John Delk, who represents Nathan Richardson, said his client is divorcing his wife and claimed she was trying to set him up when she contacted authorities about the letters. "There are a lot of factors I'm aware of that indicate (he) was set up in this deal by her," Delk said.
Delk said Nathan Richardson came to him to discuss a potential divorce a year ago and finally hired him on May 6, weeks before the ricin incident came to light. The couple is expecting their first child in October. Shannon Richardson has five children ranging in age from 4 to 19 from other relationships, Delk said.
FBI agents in hazardous material suits were seen at her home earlier this week in New Boston, Texas, a small community near the Oklahoma-Arkansas border.