anonymous phone call was made to 9-1-1 claiming that Steven Ekberg possessed
an arsenal of firearms, including machine guns, and a box of poisons,
including ricin. The caller stated that he used to be Ekberg’s
roommate and that he saw the items several months before the day he called
9-1-1. Since then, Ekberg had moved back to his mother’s home.
The caller stated that Ekberg said he would use the firearms and poison “if,
like, the government ever, like, tried to screw him over.”
Ekberg worked as a waiter at various restaurants in Ocala, Florida.
He was depressed and was mixing prescription drugs with cocaine and alcohol.
He had threatened suicide in the past. The caller stated that Ekberg
possessed a cardboard box containing several vials, glass tubes, and
jars all containing poisons. When Ekberg referred to the poisons he stated, “If
I put this in your drink you would die and nobody would be able to trace
it to me. If I put this in your food you would get really, really sick
but you wouldn’t die, but it would be painful.” He also stated
that the substance was “really illegal.”
FBI agents went to Ekberg’s home, where his mother gave consent
to search the residence. During the search, they found a recipe for making
ricin and a military manual on explosives and demolition, incendiaries,
and guerrilla warfare. They also removed Ekberg’s computer from
the residence. Ekberg later confessed to attempting to manufacture ricin
by partially following a recipe that was stored on his computer.
Ekberg was arrested and indicted on one count of the Biological Weapons
Anti-Terrorism Act. On May 3, 2005, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced
to 26 months in a federal prison.
On March 10, 2004, FBI agents executing a search warrant on a Maryland
home for an extortion/computer intrusion investigation discovered ingredients
that could be used to produce the deadly biological toxin ricin and other
potential weapons of mass destruction.
Among the items found were castor beans, laboratory glassware, numerous
chemical reagents, unidentified liquids, crystalline solids, electrical
components, and inert hand grenades.
Myron Tereshchuk, who lived in the house, was arrested and admitted
to initiating the process of ricin production. A copy of the U.S. patent
for ricin production was found on Tereshchuk. Laboratory analysis identified
the liquids and solids to be ricin, nicotine sulfate (a chemical used
in pesticides), and explosive powder. Also found in the house were incendiary
explosive devices, including practice grenade bodies that had been modified
to hold explosive powder.
On May 13, 2005, Tereshchuk pled guilty to possession of a biological
weapon and possession of explosives. He was sentenced to three years
and five months in prison for each charge. He was additionally sentenced
to three years of supervised release.
On August 20, 2002, the Connecticut State Attorney’s Office (CSAO)
received a threatening letter containing white powder. The letter
mentioned anthrax and referenced Usama bin Laden. Laboratory analysis
the white powder did not contain anthrax. While awaiting these results,
the CSAO was closed for two days.
Our investigation revealed the letter
was sent from the Connecticut Department of Corrections Facility in
Cheshire. A human source was developed
at the facility who stated that Noel Davila was responsible for
mailing the letter. In several recorded meetings with the witness, Davila
outlined the entire process of preparing and mailing the letter.
In June 2004, Davila was convicted of a threatened use of a weapon of
mass destruction and delivery of a threat through the U.S. mail. On May
11, 2005, he was sentenced to five years in prison for the delivery of
a threat through the U.S. mail and 30 years in prison for the threatened
use of a weapon of mass destruction.
Twin Sisters Plot
In 1999, three members of the San Joaquin County, California, militia,
a right-wing militant group, plotted to destroy two propane tanks in
Elk Grove, California.
The tanks, each holding approximately 12 million gallons of liquid propane,
were part of the largest above-ground propane facility in North America.
The members—Donald K. Rudolph, Kevin Ray Patterson, and Charles
Dennis Kiles—dubbed the two tanks the “Twin Sisters” and
viewed the propane tank farm as “a target of opportunity.”
The plot originated in 1996, when many militia groups were tasked to
identify targets in their area that were susceptible to sabotage and
that, if destroyed, would cause a major disturbance and lead the government
to declare martial law. This was part of a larger conspiracy by militia
groups to undermine and destabilize the federal government. Rudolph,
Patterson, and Kiles intended to follow through with the plan in late
It is estimated that the explosion would have caused 12,000 deaths,
widespread fire, and third-degree burns among individuals within five
miles or more of the explosion.
During the FBI investigation, Rudolph agreed to assist in exchange for
not being charged in this matter and instead pleaded guilty to a previous
charge of plotting to assassinate a U.S. District Court judge in 1998.
In 2002, Patterson and Kiles were convicted of threatened use of a weapon
of mass destruction. Patterson was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison
and five years supervised release. Kiles was sentenced to 22 years in
federal prison and five years supervised release. Rudolph was sentenced
to five years in federal prison.
In August 1996, Stuart Adelmann, posing as Brian Stuart Von Adelmann,
Ph.D., used a counterfeit Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) license
to order the following radioactive materials: Sodium-22, Cadmium-109,
Adelmann was arrested on August 29, 1996, and charged with violating
Title 18 U.S. Code, Section 831 – Prohibited Transactions Involving
Nuclear Materials. This was the first indictment and prosecution using
Title 18 USC 831.
Adelmann pled guilty and was sentenced to five years in federal prison.