WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A grand jury returned a seven-count indictment on Thursday against a 39-year-old Navy veteran on charges of mailing letters to President Donald Trump and other officials that contained castor beans, from which the deadly poison ricin is derived.
William Clyde Allen III, of Logan, Utah, was arrested earlier this month and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
He is charged with knowingly threatening to use a biological agent and mailing a threat against the president. The first charge has a maximum penalty of life in prison.
The letter Allen allegedly sent Trump contained the language: “Jack and the Missile Bean Stock Powder.”
The powder inside was later determined to contain castor bean material. Ricin naturally exists in castor bean seeds.
In addition to mailing a letter to Trump, Allen was indicted on five counts alleging he mailed threatening letters to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson, FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson.
A four-day trial in the case is scheduled to start on Dec. 26.
Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Peter Cooney