SALT LAKE CITY – The man accused of trying to mail ricin to the White House and other government agencies made a plea in federal court today. Plus, prosecutors say William Allen had more targets than they previously thought.
It was a quick arraignment. William Allen pleaded not guilty, then blew a kiss to his wife and mouthed “I love you” before leaving.
Outside the federal courthouse, prosecutors say Allen sent more than just castor beans to his intended victims.
“This substance that the defendant sent was ricin,” according to David Backman with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Previous reports show Allen had sent ricin-laced packages to President Trump, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and U.S. Navy Admiral John Richardson, but, Backman says Allen had sent several packages out the same day, including to Christopher Wray of the FBI, Gina Haspel of the CIA and Air Force Secretary Dr. Heather Wilson.
“We have evidence that he has sent these letters and threats to six different U.S. leaders,” Backman adds.
Allen is facing seven counts, total.
“There is one for threat of use of a biological weapon. The second is for mailing a threat against the President of the United States,” he says.
Backman isn’t commenting on Allen’s possible motive, but, he says they’re still puzzled why Allen sent notes calling the ricin “Jack and the Missile Bean Stock Powder.”
“We do not know what that means. We just have that language that was in the letters,” says Backman.
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