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WAR: Florida man faces bioweapon charge for Ricin

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posted on Jan, 13 2005 @ 08:14 PM
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A man in Ocala Florida was arrested by the FBI for possession of Ricin. An anonymous source had contacted the Marion County Sheriff's Office and told them that Ekberg showed him the materials several months ago.
When the FBI searched the home of the 22 year old Ekberg, they found he had at least 83 castor beans and other byproducts consistent with the manufacture of Ricin. He also had several weapons, including an AK-47, an Uzi and several handguns.
The FBI has said he has no known ties to terrorists.
If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.
 



www.cnn.com
In their affidavit, FBI officials said they found a number of seeds in packaging that describes the material as "very poisonous."

They said they also found, in a cardboard box in Ekberg's room, glass vials containing white granules suspected of being husk-less, chopped castor beans, a byproduct of the manufacture of ricin.

The FBI said Ekberg has no known ties to terrorists or extremists.

A hazardous-materials team took the substance to the Florida Health Department laboratory in Jacksonville, where it was confirmed to be ricin, the FBI said.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This person seems to be more of disturbed individual rather than a terrorist but if this guy can obtain these materials so easily, a determined terrorist should also be able to obtain them.

The article mentions that he may have obtained the materials over the Internet.

They didn't seem to have tracked him through these Internet purchases. If someone had not notified the Sheriff's office, they may have never even known about this.

Hopefully, they will develop ways of tracking sales of these types of materials to prevent persons with ill-intensions from carrying out an attack.



Related News Links:
www.ocala.com

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
www.abovetopsecret.com...


[edit on 14-1-2005 by AceOfBase]




posted on Jan, 13 2005 @ 11:29 PM
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The former waiter . . .

This is 'food' for thought.



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 08:22 AM
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An updated story from Newsday gives a few more detais on the arrest.

After they had recieved an anonymous tip, agents began trailing Ekberg.
On the 7th of January, undercover agents met him at the Croc Club lounge.
When they found him, he had a .357 Glock in a holster strapped to his ankle.
He also had a .45-caliber handgun, live rounds for the weapons, a notebook with a recipe to manufacture an explosive and a small amount of coc aine inside a pill box. They then went to his home and conducted a search where they found more weapons and a white powder that was later determined to be Ricin.



Newsday NY
According to sheriff's reports, Ekberg told the agents he usually carries three weapons with him. Ekberg lifted his left pant leg and showed them a .357-caliber Glock handgun in a holster strapped to his ankle.

Ekberg then told them he keeps another gun in his truck. Undercover agents walked outside with Ekberg and arrested him on charges of illegally possessing weapons inside a bar.

Agents also found .45-caliber handgun in his back pocket along with a small amount of coc aine inside a pill box, authorities said. Inside a backpack, agents found several live rounds for the weapons and a notebook with a recipe to manufacture an explosive, according to the sheriff's report.

Ekberg was charged with possession of coc aine, a felony, and a violation of a concealed-weapons permit, a misdemeanor, because he carried a gun into a bar, authorities said.

Later that night, agents searched the home on Southwest 10th Street, where they found several assault weapons, including an AK-47 rifle and an Uzi. All the weapons were seized.

Agents with the Marion County Fire Department's hazardous-materials team found a white powder inside a box at the residence. On Wednesday, a state lab in Jacksonville confirmed the substance was ricin.


This guy's Mother must be a bit off tilt herself as this was her comment on the situation:
"Do I feel he's a terrorist? No," said Ekberg's mother said as she left the federal courthouse. "There's no sinister motive behind this."

She said her son enjoys collecting "different and strange things. That's all."



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 08:29 AM
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Was he charged under the Patriot Act ? Seems quite quick for the FBI to ascertain that he had "no terrorist" motives or links. Provocative, but what if this was an arab american or muslim and non-white ? Do you think they would be so fast to eliminate the terrorist link ?



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 08:35 AM
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Originally posted by dixonwhat if this was an arab american or muslim and non-white ? Do you think they would be so fast to eliminate the terrorist link ?


I'm almost certain he'd be sitting in a cell in Guantanamo indefinitely, without access to a lawyer.

[edit on 14-1-2005 by AceOfBase]



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 08:37 AM
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Let me get this straight. They guy maid anti governemnt threads and had a WMD stored in a cardboard box and he is not being charged under the partiot act? Some idiot in NJ points a laser pointed at a plane and gets charged under the Patriot Act? :shk:

Edit: Is it me or does that guy look like slim shady?

[edit on 1/14/05 by FredT]



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 08:41 AM
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In Jacksonville? That's where the Super Bowl is to be played. Did an incredible tragedy get averted?



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 08:45 AM
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Well, from the news thread, it seems that they are just treating this as a misdemeanour. I feel the same . WMDs, gunSSSS and munitions, anti-govt slant. He may not be part of a network, but clearly he should be charged under the Patriot Act as with what he had in his possession, he would have the ability to do some serious harm to many many people. Hate to say this but looks biased to the world.



posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 08:46 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
Let me get this straight. They guy maid anti governemnt threads and had a WMD stored in a cardboard box and he is not being charged under the partiot act? Some idiot in NJ points a laser pointed at a plane and gets charged under the Patriot Act? :shk:

Edit: Is it me or does that guy look like slim shady?

[edit on 1/14/05 by FredT]


Perhaps this guy was working for "someone" and got "sloppy". The coke bust was the excuse to search his home? They had to use the "PatAct" to get a non-warrant that fast.



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 10:28 AM
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Inauguration coming up. Wonder just how many of these guys "without terrorist links" are out there ? Damn scary if you ask me.



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 10:39 AM
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I think it's fair to say he had a small amount of "poison", rather than referring to WMD's.
What quantity of a substance like Ricin is considered to no longer be a poison but a WMD? I'd think quite a lot and an effective means of distribution to a large number of people. Does the "Mass" bit refer to human destruction or infrastructure destruction?
The WMD tag seems to be bandied about far too much these days and maybe needs to be used a little more cautiously.

Chemical and biological weapons need a carefully tested delivery system and favourable environmental conditions to be effective, something the press don't really explain to Joe Public in their many uses of the term.
Of course, just the mention of WMD's is now enough to get people wetting their pants



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 10:41 AM
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This person seems to be more of disturbed individual rather than a terrorist but if this guy can obtain these materials so easily, a determined terrorist should also be able to obtain them.

The article mentions that he may have obtained the materials over the Internet.

They didn't seem to have tracked him through these Internet purchases. If someone had not notified the Sheriff's office, they may have never even known about this.

Hopefully, they will develop ways of tracking sales of these types of materials to prevent persons with ill-intensions from carrying out an attack.


Ricin can be made with materials that are not suspicious except when taken as a whole. Castor beans are used for many purposes... Ever hear of Castor oil? It's (Ricin) a VERY deadly poison, almost as deadly to make as it is to the victim. It's also almost impossible to trace, unless you're specifically looking for it. If I recall, the victim suffers from pnuemonia a little while (like days) after initial contact....and then death.

The problem though, is that any of our kitchen cabinets are home to numerous poisons, so I'm curious as to what the particular law is, that he's being prosecuted under???

It seems like they can get him on the coc aine (probably planted no doubt, since it came out later), and the weapons charges, but the real stickler is what the charges are related to the substance, and then what that means for the rest of us. Can we be arrested for having D-Con in the pantry?



Chemical and biological weapons need a carefully tested delivery system and favourable environmental conditions to be effective, something the press don't really explain to Joe Public in their many uses of the term.


Smear some Ricin on a door handle at Walmart and you've got a WMD from a VERY small amount. It could infect hundreds of people before losing potency no doubt. A very scary concept indeed... I can see the reason for the concern, but I also have fears of how this can be used as a precedent for future acts that infringe on our rights. NOBODY has a valid reason to make Ricin poison, but if such things aren't already classified as "illegal", then we've got a seriously dangerous precedent going into motion here....

[edit on 17-1-2005 by Gazrok]



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 10:54 AM
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Britguy,

Following is a quote from the news article :

"He is being charged with possession of a biological weapon."He is being charged with possession of a biological weapon.

A hazardous-materials team took the substance to the Florida Health Department laboratory in Jacksonville, where it was confirmed to be ricin, the FBI said.

FBI biohazard teams swept the house to ensure that no one in the neighborhood could become contaminated.

Whilst I do not wish to be a panic monger and keep Dubya from his celebrations, the thought of any other guys like these on the loose with the inauguration imminent, is pretty scary.



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 10:58 AM
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The problem though, is in how a "biological weapon" is defined.

If we're going to start using this as a means of imprisoning citizens, then this needs to be CLEARLY defined, and very specifically.

For example, the aforementioned D-Con rat poison...is THAT considered a "biological weapon"? Can I be arrested for having rat poison in my house? See the slippery slope here?

Granted, the case can easily be made for Ricin poison being a WMD, however, we, as citizens, need to have clearly definied guidelines for what is and what isn't, against the law, in a free society.



posted on Jan, 17 2005 @ 11:05 AM
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I would seriously doubt it. It's a commercial preparation, approved as rat poison, with even a trade name. Unless of course you got tons of the stuff in the kitchen and do not have a major rat problem or not in rat poison sales. This guy's case is far far different. As far as I can see, for some items, pure possession is sufficient. For others, it depends on the quantity and the reason for having such quantity.



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