this shows we live in a real police state! despite the fact that this idiot FAILED to produce any ricin poison the cops still charged him with the crime. and now he is going to spend up to 5 years in jail for an imaginary crime!

Mesa man faces up to 5 years for trying to make toxin

By Gary Grado, Tribune February 9, 2006

A Mesa man who caused a bioterrorism scare last year has pleaded guilty in federal court to trying to make ricin.

Casey Cutler, 25, agreed on Jan. 25 to a deal with a sentencing range of 2 1 /2 to 5 years in prison, admitting that he tried to make the deadly substance to use on future assailants after he was attacked in April, according to his written plea agreement.

His arrest exposed problems with the National Laboratory Response Network, a national network of labs that responds to bioterrorism and chemical terrorism threats.

David Engelthaler, state epidemiologist, said state health officials have taken steps so the problem doesnt occur again.

It was a real good test of the system, Engelthaler said Wednesday.

Mesa police became aware of Cutler on June 5 when a man went to a hospital seeking treatment for exposure to ricin. According to the plea agreement, filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix, Cutler got a recipe for the toxin from the Internet but he was missing the key ingredient, caster beans or a caster plant, so he tried to use castor oil.

Cutler ended up with a white powder substance, which he put in a vial he wore around his neck so he could use it as a defensive weapon.

Initial tests on the substance showed it was ricin, but state health officials realized they used outdated tests that give false positives.

Subsequent tests showed no sign of ricin.

Court records show Cutler was preparing an insanity defense in the case. He is to be sentenced April 10.

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