02.02.15

Gone to Croatan

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Ricin Kooks at 2:16 pm by George Smith

Not exactly.

But did I have you going there for a minute?

Blogs are over, I read somewhere, last week. I figured that’s probably true. And I’m just not designed for the instrumentation of the culture of lickspittle social media; that doesn’t work, either.

I had a few things but threw ’em away.

But today, here’s the latest in America’s strange but true and twisted love of ricin:

A New York City pharmacist who admitted to trying to make weapons-grade ricin and other legal toxins has been sentenced to 6 ½ years in prison.

Jordan Gonzalez was arrested on drug-related charges in 2013. He pleaded guilty in May 2014 to knowingly attempting to develop, produce and possess toxins and to possessing equipment for producing illegal narcotics.

He admitted he had been assembling equipment and materials to produce ricin, abrin and other toxins at his apartments in Jersey City and Manhattan. Gonzalez also obtained weapons, ammunition, body armor and survivalist-themed manuals.

The outcome of this case is bizarre, particularly with regards to the sentence and the claims made concerning it.

Therefore, it deserves a bit of backtrack.

In May of this year the Associated Press reported on a raid and arrest on Gonzalez’ apartment that had been conducted half a year earlier, in November 2013:

A New York City pharmacist has admitted in federal court in New Jersey he was trying to make weapons-grade ricin and other lethal toxins.

Jordan Gonzalez pleaded guilty Thursday to knowingly attempting to develop, produce and possess toxins and to possessing equipment for producing illegal narcotics.

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey say the 34-year-old admitted he had been assembling equipment and materials to produce ricin, abrin and other toxins at his apartments in Jersey City and Manhattan. Prosecutors say Gonzalez also obtained weapons, ammunition, body armor and training manuals for violent confrontation.

The pharmacist was initially charged in November with trying to manufacture a controlled substance after authorities discovered he had made purchases through an online auction of materials associated with the hallucinogen known as MDA.

AP continues, quoting from authorities, that Gonzalez “purchased thousands of seeds containing ricin and abrin, and materials to extract and administer those toxins to others, including filtering equipment, respirators, glass vials, a spraying device and projectile weapons …”

Gonzalez had, it said, also stockpiled survivalist “documents” on the “collapse of the social order.” The latter, common stuff in 2015 America.

However, in the only evidence pictures from 2015 news on his plea agreement and sentencing that I could find last week, there is only this.

Top line, far right, boxes containing a bottle of what looks like hydrogen peroxide, an unused chemical flask for concocting, an unopened plastic-bubble of tools (a set of drill bits) and a few other things, in bags, unidentifiable.

What’s in the bags? Thousands of castor seeds? There is no way to tell.

Also on display, handwritten notes on “recipes for narcotics.” Boil morphine with acetic anhydride” to make heroin is outlined by authorities.

Here is another story, in the Bergen County Record, on the Gonzalez arrest in 2013:

Federal Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI agents swarmed into the Jersey City Heights today, arresting a pharmacist on drug production charges and then discovering a large cache of weapons, ammunition and acid at a storage facility at the Tonnelle Circle, officials said.

Jordan Gonzalez, 33, formerly of Jersey City and now of New York, was arrested after law enforcement agents descended on a Bleecker Street building early this morning, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced today.

He is charged with attempting to manufacture methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) and possession of chemicals and materials to manufacture a controlled substance, officials said.

Later, federal agents moved to the U-Haul on Tonnelle Avenue, where a large amount the weapons, ammunition and acid was found …

“Several sources said that when officials first responded to Bleecker Street, investigators were looking into suspicions involving the chemical or biological warfare agent ricin. Federal officials would not confirm that and said they had no information to release on the matter. The charges do no [sic] reflect the discovery of ricin,” continued the AP.

The Department of Justice’s statement on the matter, another case involving a joint anti-terrorism task force, is here.

“From Sept. 18, 2011, through March 19, 2013, Gonzalez purchased thousands of seeds containing ricin and abrin, and materials to extract and administer those toxins to others, including filtering equipment, respirators and glass vials,” it reads.

It continues to elucidate an armory of what would be Kurt Saxon-approved survivalist materials appropriate for the usual stories about the imminent collapse of US civilization and the need to defend oneself, or to have arms of all kinds at the ready to pre-emptively attack enemies.

“On Nov. 8, 2013, while living in Manhattan, Gonzalez purchased one kilogram of sodium azide …” reads the Department of Justice. It’s a compound which is not only an acute poison, but also explosive.

In news stories from 2013 it was said Gonzalez bought his materials, or most of them, on eBay. While I did not check, I doubt reagent grade sodium azide can be bought through it.

The Justice statement maintains thousands of castor seeds as well as rosary peas (for abrin) were recovered in the raids.

“The sentence imposed today on Jordan Gonzalez is an appropriate response to his efforts to manufacture and deploy toxins as deadly weapons,” Paul Fishman, the US attorney in the case, said in the statement. “He was preparing for a violent confrontation that fortunately never occurred …”

Still, the entirety of it and the result, remains unusual.

During the last fifteen years, there have been no fatalities attributed to terrorism (or attempted terrorism, frame-jobs and attention-getting ploys) with ricin in the United States.


From Google, here are the trends in “ricin” used as search over the last decade, tied to headlines, all from results in the United States.

If one pages down, a map of the world, graded by ricin search is shown.

Curiously, Romania is number one.

I was curious about this. Turns out, Romania grows castor and exports the oil for use in organic cosmetics as a premium ingredient, a smoother and skin softener. In Romania, the processing is of “ricin zahar,” or its term for castor oil.

In France, which also lists high in search for ricin, it is known as huile de ricin, where it is also of interest as a beautifying agent.

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