A New York City pharmacy technician pleaded guilty to charges for attempting to produce the toxin ricin for attacks, the Associated Press reports.
Jordan Gonzalez, 34, on Thursday told a federal court he had tried to manufacture ricin, abrin and other dangerous substances at his New Jersey and Manhattan residences. According to the office of federal prosecutor Paul Fishman, Gonzalez planned to employ the potentially lethal toxins "in confrontations with other people."
He could receive life imprisonment in his sentencing, which is scheduled for Sept. 17. He admitted to knowingly attempting to develop, produce and possess toxins, as well as to possessing equipment for producing illegal narcotics.
Police detained Gonzalez over drug suspicions on Nov. 14, after federal law enforcement officials in New Jersey determined he had used the Internet to buy potential ingredients for a hallucinogenic substance known as MDA.
In raids of his two living spaces and a Jersey City storage area, police found several thousand precursor seeds for ricin and abrin, substances to isolate and deliver the poisons, and possible materials for producing explosions, according to legal documents. They also found instructions for producing ricin and bombs, the records indicate.
Authorities also uncovered a stockpile of conventional arms that included roughly 1,000 bullets, large-capacity magazines, pistols, parts for assault weapons and semi-automatic rifles, a crossbow and bulletproof armor.
This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.