Florida man who produced and sold deadly ricin gets prison
TRENTON, New Jersey (AP) — A man who admitted he produced and sold potentially deadly toxins and aided a London woman who was plotting to kill her mother was sentenced Wednesday to more than nine years in prison.
Jesse William Korff was sentenced in federal court in New Jersey after pleading guilty last year to producing and smuggling the toxins ricin and abrin and to conspiring to kill a person in a foreign country.
The U.S. attorney’s office said Korff, 20, of LaBelle, Florida, used an underground Internet marketplace called Black Market Reloaded to sell the toxins to buyers in India and Europe. One of the shipments allegedly went to the London woman who said she wanted to kill her mother.
Korff was arrested in January 2014 after he set up a transaction with undercover agents at a rest stop outside Fort Myers, Florida. According to an affidavit filed in the case, in one email exchange, Korff told the agent: “I guarantee it will work ... if you drop the abrin in someone’s drink Wednesday he will be dead Friday and there is no way to trace it after 24 hours of ingestion.”
Korff told the agent in an online conversation that he concealed the toxins in vials in carved-out and re-melted candles.
Abrin is found in the seeds of the tropical rosary pea plant and is similar to ricin, a poison that comes from castor beans. Abrin is used in medical research because of its potential to kill cancer cells, but it also is a deadly poison for which there is no antidote, according to the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Jesse Korff peddled his poison in a shadowy, online network favored by cybercriminals. He also offered guidance on its effective use, and his sentence today appropriately took account of his participation with an overseas customer in an attempted murder plot,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said. “Fortunately, law enforcement was able to intercede before Korff could conclude his deadly transaction.”