Pharmacist Sentenced for Trying to Make Ricin

February 3, 2015
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

A former New Jersey pharmacist will be heading to prison after "attempting to weaponize" ricin and abrin and possessing equipment for making illegal narcotics.

A former New Jersey pharmacist will be heading to prison after “attempting to weaponize” ricin and abrin and possessing equipment for making illegal narcotics.

Jordan Gonzalez was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison and 5 years of supervised release for his crimes, which include possessing a prohibited flask with the intention of using it to produce illegal narcotics, according to Reuters.

In addition, authorities found explosives, 1000 rounds of ammunition, handguns, and assault rifle components in Gonzalez’s possession. He also had literature about how to survive in a lawless environment and documents about the collapse of a social order, according to Reuters.

The former pharmacist said he was stockpiling the weapons so that he could use them in confrontations with other people, Reuters reported.

Seeds containing ricin and abrin were also found when authorities searched his homes in Jersey City, New Jersey; Manhattan, New York; and some storage units in New Jersey.

Ricin, made famous by AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” is a poison found in castor beans. Abrin is a poison found in rosary pea or jequirity pea seeds.

The FBI caught wind of Gonzalez’s crimes after they discovered suspicious deliveries being sent to his New York apartment. One example was a package containing a kilogram of a toxic and explosive compound, Reuters reported.

“He was preparing for a violent confrontation that fortunately never occurred,” said US Attorney Paul Fishman for the District of New Jersey in a statement.

Gonzalez was arrested in November 2013 and pleaded guilty in federal court in May 2014.