Prosecutors: Logan man claims he also sent suspicious letters to Elizabeth II, Putin
A Logan man was charged Friday in U.S. District Court with threatening to use a biological toxin as a weapon and threatening injury to multiple top U.S. officials — and court documents state he may have sent letters to other world leaders.
William Clyde Allen III’s alleged targets included President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson, and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
According to a charging document filed in the federal court, William Clyde Allen III mailed the letters from the Logan post office with his name and return address clearly marked on each one.
Each letter included castor bean particles that have tested positive for ricin in multiple testings, and a note that said “Jack and the Missile Bean Powder stock.”
“Allen III further informed he had sent other letters with the same contents to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Queen of England, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the Secretary of the Air Force (whose name he did not recall),” court records state.
During an interview with special agents after he was removed from his home on Wednesday, Allen reportedly said he purchased the beans on eBay in December last year just in case World War III broke out.
A search of his eBay account verified two purchases, one of 100 beans and another with 30 beans.
Allen “believes” he has not used any more than those sent in the mail.
Allen, a former Navy sailor, appeared in U.S. District Court on Friday morning for an initial appearance on these charges.
He faces up to 10 years in federal prison on each of the mail counts, and up to life for threatened use of a biological toxin as a weapon, said Melodie Rydalch, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney General’s Office in Salt Lake City.
An attorney has been appointed to represent him, and a detention hearing has been set for Oct. 18, she said.
In the meantime, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will seek an indictment by the grand jury.
The FBI took Allen into custody at his Logan residence Wednesday afternoon, and he is being held in the Davis County Jail.
Special agents executed a search warrant on his home, looking for biological agents and other related evidence, and on the Thursday, the Bear River Health Department gave the home the all-clear, saying there is no risk to the public.
The raid on his home comes after multiple suspicious incidents in the last three years, including an email sent to the CIA in 2015 threatening to kill President Barack Obama if the agency did not stop infringing on his constitutional rights, and a 2017 bomb threat sent to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.