Published: Sun, December 03, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Federal Bureau of Investigation arrests 70-year-old retiree for possession of 'biological weapon'

Federal Bureau of Investigation arrests 70-year-old retiree for possession of 'biological weapon'

It is unclear whether Miller, who is in custody, has hired a new attorney.

The request for the delay also asked that Miller remain in custody. Investigators also said that Miller had printed instructions, entitled "How to make ricin", which she had gotten from the internet.

The FBI and the Vermont Department of Health both interviewed Miller Tuesday evening at the University Vermont Medical Center, federal law enforcement said in a statement. "Absent further information about her mental state and present intentions, the Court can not create conditions adequate to protect Ms. Miller and those around her from harm". However, Judge Conroy said she did not meet the financial qualifications for a public defender and must find her own legal representation.

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Federal officials say Miller manufactured between two and three tablespoons of ricin on two separate occasions in the kitchen of her home. "I'm prepared to do that, your honor", Miller replied. A subsequent search of her residence found various pill bottles, including one marked "Ricin" that was half-full of a yellowish/white powder that later tested positive as ricin, Emmons said.

Court documents show she told investigators she had become interested in plant based poisons during the past summer. Based on research conducted on the internet using her laptop computer and cell phone, Miller harvested 30-40 castor beans from plants growing on the property of Wake Robin. She exposed other residents to the ricin on at least three occasions, the complaint said. During that time, no other residents reported symptoms consistent with ricin poisoning.

The agent said Miller "indicated her goal was to injure herself", but that she first wanted to test the ricin on others.

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The Health Department said Wednesday that its laboratory had confirmed the substance discovered in Miller's home was ricin.

It's still not clear if the illness discovered in their investigation was actually the result of ricin poisoning.

Wake Robin said in a statement Friday that one apartment was closed off and that the resident living there will not return."We have received assurances from the Vermont Department of Health and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that no one's health is at risk", it said. The safety and security of Wake Robin residents and staff are ALWAYS our highest priority. Respiratory distress and other symptoms can occur within hours. In this case, the homemade ricin was put in food and beverages. "Miller's crime was carefully planned".

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Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans and can be turned into a powder, mist or pellet, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Miller stated she chose to test the effectiveness of the Ricin on other residents of Wake Robin.

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