Prosecutors Allege San Francisco Bomb Suspect Had Makings Of Ricin Poison At His Apartment; Bail Denied
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Ryan Chamberlain, the man arrested in San Francisco earlier in June after a nationwide FBI manhunt and charged with possessing an illegal destructive device, was denied bail by a federal judge on Monday as prosecutors revealed the suspect allegedly had the makings of a lethal toxin in his apartment.
Federal attorneys told Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins that Chamberlain, 42, had a fully built improvised explosive device (IED) that was “ready to go” inside of his backpack at his Nob Hill apartment.
Government lawyers also provided significant new information on what they said Chamberlain had in his apartment when it was raided by the FBI.
At Monday’s hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip Kearney revealed publicly for the first time that FBI agents searching Chamberlain’s apartment discovered a package of castor plant beans, which contain the poison ricin, along with the alleged improvised bomb.
The ricin in castor beans is most lethal when made into powder. Kearney told the magistrate that the package contained 20 to 40 beans in their original form.
An FBI affidavit filed earlier in the case alleged that Chamberlain bought two other poisons, abrin and pure nicotine, over the Internet during the past year.
A search of Chamberlain’s apartment also found other explosive devices, including a booby-trap device prosecutors said could have triggered a bomb.
Federal prosecutors additionally presented two new grand jury indictments, both for the possession of a fully-loaded illegal Derringer hand gun.
Lawyers said Chamberlain has a prior record that includes six arrests in four states.
His court-appointed attorney, Jodi Linker, argued that her client should be placed in a psychiatric unit at San Francisco General Hospital for evaluation, then to a residential treatment center, but that motion was denied by the judge.
Chamberlain is charged in a grand jury indictment with one count of possessing an unregistered destructive device — the alleged bomb — and one count of possessing a gun with the serial number removed.
Chamberlain, dressed in orange jail clothing, pleaded not guilty Monday to the two counts in the indictment.
He has been in custody since his arrest in San Francisco on June 2 following a nationwide manhunt that began after the May 31 search of his Nob Hill apartment.
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