Georgia Men Found Guilty in ‘Waffle House’ Ricin Plot

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Jan. 21, 2014, 7:40 a.m.

A jury on Fri­day found two Geor­gia men guilty of plot­ting to use ri­cin, a bio­lo­gic­al tox­in, to at­tack U.S. gov­ern­ment tar­gets, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

The ver­dict against Ray Adams, 57, and Samuel Crump, 71, came after 90 minutes of jury de­lib­er­a­tion and al­most two weeks of testi­mony in U.S. Dis­trict Court in Gaines­ville, Ga. Each man was found guilty of one count of con­spir­acy to pos­sess and man­u­fac­ture a bio­lo­gic­al tox­in to be used as a weapon, and an­oth­er count each of pos­sess­ing a bio­lo­gic­al tox­in for weapons use. Adams was ac­quit­ted of a third re­lated count.

A law-en­force­ment in­form­ant in 2011 had cov­ertly re­cor­ded the men talk­ing in a Waffle House chain res­taur­ant — among oth­er loc­a­tions — about their hatred of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment and the pro­spect of car­ry­ing out deadly at­tacks against U.S. per­son­nel and fa­cil­it­ies us­ing ri­cin.

The pro­sec­utor in the case, Bill McKin­non, in his fi­nal ar­gu­ment laid out some of the phys­ic­al evid­ence be­fore the jury. Those in­cluded match­ing re­cipes for ri­cin found at each of the de­fend­ants’ homes; shelled castor beans — a key ri­cin in­gredi­ent — dis­covered at both homes; acet­one, an­oth­er in­gredi­ent for the tox­in, loc­ated at Adams’ home; and rub­ber gloves found at Crump’s home, the wire ser­vice re­por­ted.

De­fense law­yers as­ser­ted that their cli­ents were frus­trated with the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment but had no plans or ca­pa­city to un­der­take an at­tack.

“What that boils down to is if you have castor beans, you bet­ter not sug­gest you’re go­ing to do any­thing with them,” Ed Tolley, Adams’ at­tor­ney, said after hear­ing the guilty ver­dict.

Crump’s law­yer, Dan Sum­mer, said he thought “the court gave us a fair tri­al.”

Each of the charges could in­volve a max­im­um of life in pris­on. As of Fri­day, date for sen­ten­cing had not yet been set.

Ori­gin­ally four men had been ar­res­ted in Novem­ber 2011 for their al­leged in­volve­ment in the plot. However, two of them — Dan Roberts and Fre­d­er­ick Thomas — pleaded guilty in April 2012 to less­er charges. They were each sen­tenced to give years be­hind bars.

In a sep­ar­ate case, James Dutsch­ke, 42, pleaded guilty on Fri­day in a Mis­sis­sippi court to mail­ing an­thrax-laced let­ters to Pres­id­ent Obama and two oth­er of­fi­cials, ac­cord­ing to a dif­fer­ent AP re­port. The case in­volved sev­er­al twists and turns, in­clud­ing a strange at­tempt to im­plic­ate a long­stand­ing rival — an Elvis im­per­son­at­or — who was briefly de­tained in the mat­ter.

Dutsch­ke ini­tially had pleaded in­no­cent in the case and denied wrong­do­ing, but now is ex­pec­ted to serve 25 years in pris­on un­der a plea agree­ment with pro­sec­utors.

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