(NEW YORK) — A New York man was indicted after he allegedly attempted to acquire the deadly toxin ricin on the Internet.
The Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that Cheng Le was arrested on Dec. 23, 2014 after he attempted to purchase ricin through the “Dark Web so that it could be used for deadly purposes.” A statement from the DOJ notes that Le contacted an online covert employee of the FBI on or about Dec. 18, 2014, asking the undercover agent to send the ricin to a postal box in Manhattan. Later in the day, FBI agents say that Le withdrew a box from the postal box while wearing latex gloves, and then mailed the box at a nearby post office.
The box did not contain any hazardous materials. Law enforcement officers added that the return address on the box Le shipped was fraudulent.
The FBI had a box containing no ricin, but otherwise met Le’s request, delivered to his postal box, where he allegedly removed it while wearing latex gloves. He allegedly opened the package and took it to his apartment where he was arrested.
Le faces charges of attempting to possess a biological toxin for use as a weapon and using a fictitious name in furtherance of unlawful business involving the mail. He could face up to life in prison if convicted.
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