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FBI offices in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City are extremely involved in the multi-agency investigation resulting from the discovery of Ricin in a Nevada hotel room. 

Here is what we can say about the ongoing investigation: 

  • On February 28, our Las Vegas Division was notified by local police that an individual had been exposed to Ricin. This individual is currently hospitalized. 
  • The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is the lead agency in the Las Vegas aspects of the investigation; the FBI in Salt Lake City is leading that aspect of the investigation. Numerous other law enforcement and public safety agencies have responded in concert with the FBI. 
  • At this early stage of the investigation, this incident does not appear to be related to terrorism. 
  • On Sunday morning, March 2, pursuant to court authorized search warrants, our Salt Lake City office led the search of four locations linked to the hospitalized individual, including a home in Riverton and three storage units in West Jordan. The search teams included hazardous material experts from the FBI Laboratory and our offices in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, as well as special agent bomb techs. Those searches have ended.
  • Based on what we know so far, there is no health threat to the public in either Nevada or Utah. 

FBI personnel and others in front of the FBI Mobile Command Center

Bureau personnel and others in front of the FBI's Mobile Command Center in Riverton, Utah

About Ricin. Ricin is a highly toxic substance that can be made from castor beans. According to the Centers for Disease Control, small doses can be lethal. However, Ricin is not contagious and accidental exposure is highly unlikely. See the Centers for Disease Control website for more information.

For more information:
- March 1 Salt Lake City press release 
- March 2 Salt Lake City press release 
- Statement by FBI Salt Lake City Special Agent in Charge
- FBI Laboratory Hazardous Material Response Unit
- FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction website

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