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Logan man makes first court appearance in Ricin mailing case

William Clyde Allen III

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Friday morning was the first court appearance for the Logan man accused of mailing a ricin substance to the President, defense secretary and others.

William Allen is accused of mailing castor beans and ricin to the president, the defense secretary, a navy admiral and others. Federal court documents say he put his home address in Logan on the envelope, and included a note saying “jack and the missile bean stock powder.” He apparently also claimed he sent the substance to the Queen and Vladimir Putin.

The affidavit also says he told the FBI that he bought the castor beans on eBay in case World War 3 broke out.

“These charges are serious, they are no laughing matter,” said US attorney for Utah, John Huber. “Today he was appointed an attorney, we are a civilized society. We anticipate sending this case to a grand jury at a future date.”

John Huber speaks to reporters outside court Friday, October 5, 2018

Allen smiled when he walked into Judge Dustin Pead’s courtroom, but was in tears when he left. The judge told him he would stay in custody for until his detention hearing next week, but Allen said he was looking forward to watching General Conference, and that he need to take care of his wife, who is in a wheelchair. He cried as he looked back at her.

Huber says they still have more investigation to do.

The court documents also outline more of the history of criminal threats KSL reported on this week.

Authorities say Allen could face up to life in prison for count 1, which is a threat to use a biological toxin as a weapon, and up to 10 years for each of the mail counts against him.