By Robbie Ward/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Residents of Magnolia Drive will soon see fewer black cars with Washington, D.C., license plates and stoic-faced men in black suits lining the street.
Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Tupelo said during his talk to the Tupelo Kiwanis Club on Friday that his security detail of Capitol Police officers will no longer keep tabs on him outside his Tupelo home or when he travels.
The security detail for Wicker ended Friday night.
Security officers have followed Wicker since a poison-laced envelope was mailed to his Senate address in Washington from Tupelo last month. Letters were also sent to President Barack Obama and Lee County Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland.
Tupelo resident James Everett Dutschke, 41, remains in jail as he waits to see if a federal grand jury will indict him on charges related to sending the letters with the toxin ricin to elected officials. Before his arrest, authorities arrested and later released a Corinth man.
While appreciating the increased protection, Wicker said he looks forward to having less of an entourage as he travels.
“I’m kind of used to being a regular member of society,” he said after his civic club talk. “I’ve got as much protection as a Southeastern Conference football coach.”
Wicker and his staff had previously been tight-lipped about the arrest. That police halted Wicker’s security detail and the senator discussed everything Friday signaled confidence in the FBI’s arrest of Dutschke.
No one else has been charged in relation to the crime.
Wicker said he has shown the Washington, D.C., Capitol Police officers a taste of Mississippi culture. The officers accompanied Wicker to places like Elvis Presley’s birthplace, Oxford, Blue Mountain College and Smithville.
Standing in the back of the room during the Kiwanis meeting at the Summit Center, Capitol Police Officer Kevin Bull said he has enjoyed his Mississippi experience.
“I’ve had a good time down here,” he said.