Skip to comments.FBI to Search House After Finding Ricin [extremely deadly nerve toxin]
Posted on 06/04/2006 2:32:30 PM PDT by John Jorsett
FBI hazardous material experts searched a home where police found pipe bombs and a jar containing the potentially deadly poison ricin, federal agents said Friday.
The ricin was found in a baby food jar in a shed of the home owned by a man who went to jail last week for violating protection orders taken out by his estranged wife, according to local and federal officials.
The jar was sealed, and officials don't believe the middle-class neighborhood in east Nashville was threatened, although the one-story brick house and part of the street remained cordoned off.
Investigators found three blasting caps in the shed during their search on Friday, but no more ricin or other hazardous materials, said Eric Kehn, an agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The ATF, FBI and Nashville police conducted the search.
"They'll be looking over the property inch by inch," police spokeswoman Amanda Sluss said.
The resident, 55-year-old William Micheal Matthews, had not been charged Friday in connection with the bombs or ricin. His wife Carole Matthews had sought the protection orders while he was being treated for substance abuse, officials said.
The wife, who still lives at the home, told police to search the shed, where authorities also found five gun silencers and bomb-making materials.
Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said associates of Matthews said he talked about ricin a year ago, but that he was not known to be associated with any terrorist organizations or other violent groups.
It was not clear whether Matthews had a lawyer who could comment.
He recently left a job in Nashville's drug court testing laboratory after female co-workers filed sexual harassment complaints against him, according to city personnel records examined by WSMV-TV. He had also been employed with the Davidson County sheriff's department, Sluss said.
"It's totally out of character for Mike," neighbor Tommy Smith said. "We're totally floored."
Ricin is a poisonous protein that can be used as a biological weapon. As little as 500 micrograms, roughly the amount that fits on the head of a pin, is enough to kill an adult, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In February 2004, ricin was found in the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. Dozens of Capitol employees were quarantined briefly and decontaminated, but none got sick.
This sounds like someone who played around with Anarchist Cookbook type materials or internet formulas and got caught with his toys.
I'm actually wondering why we haven't seen more instances of this kind of thing given the number of whackos who now have access to every kind of destructive device and substance in this information age.
Not to quibble, but ricin is not a nerve agent. It shuts down protein synthesis at the cellular level.
It's still very deadly. As little as a single molecule is sufficient to kill a human cell.
And it is all natural.
So, you could probably lose a lot of weight on it (as you decompose)?
Only if you use organic ricin. All those evil chemical pesticides might give you cancer.
Then they drop these two little tid bits
His wife Carole Matthews had sought the protection orders while he was being treated for substance abuse, officials said.
He recently left a job in Nashville's drug court testing laboratory
Do you think, maybe, he might have misinterpreted what his job was and thought he was supposed to be testing the drugs on himself?