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FBI arrests Coventry Twp homeowner on charge of unlawful possession of biological agent ricin (Ohio)
CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER ^ | January 29, 2011 | Michael Scott

Posted on 01/29/2011 1:49:59 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave

AKRON, Ohio -- Federal agents on Friday arrested a Coventry Township man on one count of unlawful possession of a biological agent -- the deadly toxin ricin.

Jeffrey B. Levenderis, 54, appeared in U.S. District Court in Akron late Friday, but did not enter a plea, a federal spokesman said. Levenderis is the former owner of the home on South Main St. in Coventry where officials had seized a small amount of material late Tuesday afternoon.


Levenderis, whose elderly father said he been troubled for years, is scheduled to appear again in court next week in Akron.

Ricin, a deadly poison, is made from castor beans and is a biological toxin of choice for some terrorist groups, according to the National Counterterrorism Center.

The Centers for Disease Control has an online q&a about Ricin: Ricin, a poison found naturally in castor beans. If the beans are chewed and swallowed, the released ricin can cause injury. Ricin can be made from the waste material left over from processing the beans. It can be in the form of a powder, a mist, or a pellet, or it can be dissolved in water or weak acid.

Township and Summit County officials assured the public that there was no widespread health concern and minimized any possible connection with terrorism. They continued searching Levenderis' former home late Friday.

"We never really felt that there was any concern beyond the house and we never considered evacuating the neighborhood," said Coventry Township Fire Chief David Calderone. "We found a few baggies of material in a closed coffee can in the refrigerator, but they remained contained the entire time and we sent them to the lab to be tested."


Ricin is made from castor beans (top),
which are similar in appearance to the more common
pinto beans (bottom). Castor beans,
however, have a short extension on one end.

The substance was flown to a federal lab in Maryland for analysis. Investigators confirmed Friday afternoon that the material taken was ricin -- a toxin that is "derived from the castor bean and can be deadly if ingested, inhaled or injected."

The new owner of the home, which had recently been foreclosed on, initially found the substance. The new owner notified local township and Summit County authorities, who contacted the FBI.

Federal agents called in specially trained FBI hazardous materials teams from Pittsburgh and Quantico, Va., FBI spokesman Scott Wilson said.

Wilson said he could not say whether he suspected Levenderis of actually making the ricin, whether he had more and whether he had taken it elsewhere. He also would not say where Levenderis was when arrested by federal agents.

"The investigation led us to him, but I can't go into any statements he made," Wilson said. "I can say that we don't believe there is any connection to terrorism at this point."

Levenderis' father said his son was still secretly staying at the home up until the point when the new owners showed up.

"My son was very troubled for a long, long time and when the FBI men came here to talk to me (Thursday), I wasn't surprised," said Anthony Levenderis, 82. He and his late wife Mary had adopted Jeffrey Levenderis when he was 6 years old.

"But I believe he was more of a danger to himself than to other people," Anthony Levenderis said. "His marriage broke up, he quit his job and he lost his house, so maybe this will be the best thing to happen to him. He needs a lot of help."

Jeffrey Levenderis has no criminal record. He divorced in 1990 and just recently lost the home, a $165,000 two-story, brick colonial across from Firestone Metro Park, part of the Summit County park system.

Anthony Levenderis, a retired teacher from the Akron City School District, said he had no idea why his son might have had the ricin or how long he might have had it.

"The FBI men asked the same question, but I don't know what he was planning to do with it," he said. "But all of this is reviving a lot of ugly moments from the past for me."


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 01/29/2011 1:50:06 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave
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To: ADemocratNoMore; Akron Al; arbee4bush; agrace; Badeye; Bikers4Bush; BlindedByTruth; bonfire; ...

Ohio Pings!

To be added to the Ohio Ping List,
please freepmail LasVegasDave.

2 posted on 01/29/2011 1:52:20 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave ("Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican." Ronald Reagan)
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To: Las Vegas Dave
not from Ohio...just wanted to type this...

These are interesting times. Interesting times indeed. I suppose God's sense of humor is beyond all human comprehension. So many bad, mean, despicable people in the world, and those who live now, doing what they do (lawfully) can only wonder why. I await God's Will and do sometimes wonder why he allows so much evil in this world. I suppose the evil one is on his last legs. The evil one knows this (devil's last legs about to be cut out from under him) and therefore the ever present multitude of evil must gather together his demon hosts to do battle with the arrival of God's angels and Jesus. What a glorious day it will be, when evil is chained. May I live to see it and may you live to see it too. Of course, the person arrested must be classified as a suspect, while in God's eyes we all are suspects too, as evil calls most who are on the planet, subjects. Interesting times indeed.

3 posted on 01/29/2011 2:17:41 AM PST by no-to-illegals (Please God, Bless and Protect Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

Ricin is a powerful poison, but almost useless as a terrorist weapon.

It’s easy to make as castor beans grow everywhere.


4 posted on 01/29/2011 3:21:14 AM PST by Bon mots ("Anything you say, can and will be construed as racist...")
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To: Las Vegas Dave

A “biological agent” is normally a harmful organism like a mold, a bacterium, or a virus. Not a purified poison.


5 posted on 01/29/2011 3:22:40 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: Las Vegas Dave
The new owner of the home, which had recently been foreclosed on, initially found the substance.

How did he know it was Ricin?

6 posted on 01/29/2011 4:14:58 AM PST by raybbr (Someone who invades another country is NOT an immigrant - illegal or otherwise.)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

Cut him some slack. Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and those other nasty right wing radicals made him do it. sarc/


7 posted on 01/29/2011 4:17:44 AM PST by Lion Den Dan
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To: Bon mots
Ricin is a powerful poison, but almost useless as a terrorist weapon.

There is no terrorist connection. Ricin is better for point targets. Maybe he was thinking of spiking the coffee pots of the mortgage holder who foreclosed? Mass murder is not unknown.

8 posted on 01/29/2011 4:43:23 AM PST by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: raybbr

He probably thought it was illegal drugs.


9 posted on 01/29/2011 4:45:28 AM PST by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: raybbr

From the story i’m not sure if he just found some Castor beans. My mother always had a couple of castor plants in her garden, they are pretty plants and they keep the moles away.


10 posted on 01/29/2011 5:30:12 AM PST by org.whodat
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To: Las Vegas Dave
Maybe Jeffrey Levenderis made the ricin to use on himself.

The guy does sound like he was at the edge - no wife, no job, no house - no HOPE. And taking potion is a lot neater than blowing your brains out.

Plus, sometimes the simplest answer is the right one. Aka: 'Occam's razor'.

When you eliminate the probable, whatever remains - however improbable - must be the truth. (S. Holmes)

11 posted on 01/29/2011 5:37:40 AM PST by Condor51 (Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Congressman. But I repeat myself. [Mark Twain])
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To: Condor51
oh..... snigglefritz!

the spell check Demon got me. 'potion' should be 'poison'.

12 posted on 01/29/2011 5:40:06 AM PST by Condor51 (Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Congressman. But I repeat myself. [Mark Twain])
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To: Las Vegas Dave

It’s kind of difficult for me to to get freaked out about
a story about a guy who is in possession of something
that is freely available to purchase at amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=castor+bean+seeds&x=15&y=16


13 posted on 01/29/2011 5:41:32 AM PST by Repeal The 17th
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To: Las Vegas Dave

This is pretty asinine. I would put this down to federal paranoia, after an eastern European dissident was assassinated with ricin many years ago.

It’s not just the production of ricin that is illegal, though the fools that do so never actually *use* it—they just keep it—but even *knowing* that someone else has produced ricin and *not* reporting them is a serious felony.

Not too long ago, a Utah man got a few years of probation with a felony conviction because his cousin told him he had made ricin, and the man did not report it to the police. Literally, an “honor code” style law, as are used in military academies.


14 posted on 01/29/2011 5:49:04 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: org.whodat
From what I've read so far They've established that there is “no connection to terrorism”. Several sources on the internet have cited “authorities” in other cases as stating that “ricin is not illegal to own, but is illegal to possess with the intent to poison”.

I haven't seen any mention of anything illegal in this case.

15 posted on 01/29/2011 5:59:50 AM PST by bitterohiogunclinger (Proudly casting a heavy carbon footprint as I clean my guns ---)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
A “biological agent” is normally a harmful organism like a mold, a bacterium, or a virus. Not a purified poison.

Ricin is most certainly considered a "biological agent," as are a number of other naturally occurring toxins. Tetradotoxin, botulin toxins, and staphylococcal enterotoxins are some others that fall into this category. There are laws regarding their possession; people possessing them for legitimate purposes must keep meticulous records and safeguard them appropriately.

16 posted on 01/29/2011 6:34:23 AM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

Pinto Si, Castor No!


17 posted on 01/29/2011 6:51:52 AM PST by Wally_Kalbacken
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To: Las Vegas Dave

What is the problem? It is all organic and there is NOTHING WRONG OR HARMFUL when things are organic!! Let there be a green solution an orgnaic solution to everything - organics are good and chemicals are bad. /sarcasm off


18 posted on 01/29/2011 7:41:06 AM PST by q_an_a (a)
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To: R. Scott

Ping me if he has an umbrella ;)
http://articles.cnn.com/2003-01-07/world/terror.poison.bulgarian_1_poison-ricin-assassination-bulgarian-dissident-georgi-markov

“As he waited at a bus stop moments into his journey home, he felt a sharp jab in his thigh and saw a man picking up an umbrella.

He developed a high temperature and in four days was dead.

A post mortem, conducted with the help of scientists from the UK government’s germ warfare centre at Porton Down, established that he had been killed by a tiny pellet containing a 0.2 milligram dose of the poison ricin.

Markov’s assassination was detected only because the pellet carrying the poison had not dissolved as expected.”


19 posted on 01/29/2011 8:05:01 AM PST by mewykwistmas ("Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river. ")
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To: Las Vegas Dave
Federal agents called in specially trained FBI hazardous materials teams from Pittsburgh and Quantico, Va., FBI spokesman Scott Wilson said.

Wilson said he could not say whether he suspected Levenderis of actually making the ricin, whether he had more and whether he had taken it elsewhere. He also would not say where Levenderis was when arrested by federal agents.

Evidently the number one qualification for becoming an FBI spokesman is your ability to keep your mouth shut...

20 posted on 01/29/2011 8:27:36 AM PST by Zeppo ("Happy Pony is on - and I'm NOT missing Happy Pony")
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To: Las Vegas Dave

Isn’t that where castor oil comes from?


21 posted on 01/29/2011 11:05:05 AM PST by GeronL (http://www.stink-eye.net/forum/index.php)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

When Ricin is outlawed, only outlaws will have Ricin.


22 posted on 01/29/2011 11:06:35 AM PST by Republic of Texas (Socialism Always Fails)
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To: Condor51

You are probably right. He was despondent from not getting his free pony that poops skittles.


23 posted on 01/29/2011 11:07:40 AM PST by GeronL (http://www.stink-eye.net/forum/index.php)
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To: mewykwistmas

1978 had several surprises in the area of assassination.


24 posted on 01/29/2011 1:10:10 PM PST by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: Condor51

“Plus, sometimes the simplest answer is the right one. Aka: ‘Occam’s razor’.”

Maybe, but it’s weird to sit there and make your own poison, when you can end your life ‘peacefully’ with a bottle of tylenol and some booze. Maybe he was trying to kill someone that had ‘wrong him’ in the past? It’s not unknown to blame someone even from 20 years ago, when your chips are truly down.

We’re all speculating of course.


25 posted on 01/29/2011 1:32:20 PM PST by mewykwistmas ("Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river. ")
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