A US Navy veteran from Utah was charged on Friday with threatening President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis, the FBI director and an admiral by mailing them letters containing castor beans, from which the deadly poison ricin is derived.
The criminal complaint, filed in US District Court in Salt Lake City, charged William Clyde Allen III with one count of threatening to use a biological toxin as a weapon and four counts of mailing threatening communications. Allen, 39, could face up to life in prison if convicted, said Melodie Rydalch, a spokeswoman for the US Attorney’s Office in Salt Lake City.
He is accused of mailing ground-up castor seeds in separate envelopes addressed to Trump, Mattis, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Admiral John Richardson, chief of US naval operations. Each envelope contained a note reading “Jack and the Missile Bean Stock Powder,” according to an FBI affidavit filed in the case.
None of the letters reached its intended recipient, and no one was hurt, officials said. The accused perpetrator, who ended his four-year Navy stint in 2002 as a seaman apprentice, was not hard to find. The envelopes, all postmarked Sept. 24, bore Allen’s name and return address, the affidavit said.
He was arrested on Wednesday at his home in Logan, Utah, about 83 miles north of Salt Lake City, and confessed to sending the letters with castor beans he had pur...