A United States Secret Service Agent stands guard outside the Oval Office of the White House on March 23. Former Navy veteran William Clyde Allen III was charged for sending threatening letters containing castor beans -- the source for ricin, a toxic poison -- to the White House and the Pentagon. Photo by Alex Edelman/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 18 (UPI) -- A former Navy Veteran from Utah was charged Thursday for mailing threatening letters in envelopes containing castor seeds to the White House and the Pentagon, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
William Clyde Allen III, 39, was charged with one count of threatening to use a biological agent and toxin as a weapon, one count of mailing a threat against the president and five counts of mailing threatening communications to an officer or an employee of the United States.
Allen purchased 380 castor beans -- the source for ricin, a toxic poison -- in December 2017. Ricin occurs naturally, but small doses of the substance can be lethal to humans if ingested, inhaled or injected.
Allen was arrested on Oct. 3, after the suspicious mail containing castor seeds was sent to government officials.
The seven-count indictment alleges he sent a letter to President Donald Trump that read "Jack and the Missile Bean Stock Powder" and contained castor bean material.
He was also charged with sending similar envelopes to Secretary of Defense James Mattis; Adm. John M. Richardson, chief of naval operations; FBI Director Christopher Wray; CIA Director Gina Haspel; and Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson.
Another letter was sent to Sen. Ted Cruz's Houston campaign office, but was later found to not be hazardous.
Allen faces a potential maximum sentence of life in prison for threatening to use a biological toxin as a weapon, as well as five years for mailing a threat against the president and a potential 10-year sentence for mailing threatening communications to an officer or an employee of the United States.