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Logan man accused of mailing ricin to President Trump, U.S. leaders pleads not guilty

Posted at 11:39 AM, Oct 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-18 15:09:56-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of mailing ricin to President Trump, Pentagon leaders and the FBI director pleaded not guilty to an indictment.

William Clyde Allen III was indicted by a federal grand jury on new charges of threatening to use a biological toxin as a weapon, mailing a threat against the president and mailing threatening communications to an officer of the United States.

Allen is accused of mailing a substance the FBI claims tested positive for ricin to President Trump at the White House; Defense Secretary James Mattis and Navy Admiral John Richardson at the Pentagon; FBI Director Chris Wray; CIA Director Gina Haspel and Air Force Secretary Dr. Heather Wilson. Each envelope contained a letter with the language “Jack and the Missile Bean Stock Powder.”

“What plea does the defendant wish to enter?” U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Braithwaite asked.

“He pleads not guilty,” Allen’s lawyers replied.

The judge set a Dec. 26 trial date. Allen remains in jail. He faces up to life in prison, if convicted.

Outside of court, assistant U.S. Attorney David Backman told reporters that they had found more envelopes they believed Allen mailed and thus the new charges. In an earlier federal complaint, federal prosecutors alleged Allen mailed the threatening letters from his Logan home and told FBI agents he purchased castor beans used to make ricin in the event of “World War III.”