Toxic Terrorist Gas Ricin Found in Chesterfield Virginia
Channel 8 in the Richmond Petersburg area is reporting:
A foreign national was arrested for making ricin in his home. Ricin was the toxic gas used in the Japanese subway attacks. It is made from the commonly available castor bean plant.
The resident of a Chesterfield Virginia home was arrested for plotting to use the poison to kill his wife. Police report that terrorism was not his objective.
Chetanand Kumar Sewraz, a resident from Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, who now lives in Virginia, is also wanted for making an explosive device in Florida.
Press release by Chesterfield local government:
MAN ARRESTED IN PLOT TO KILL WIFE
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA – Approximately two months ago the Chesterfield County Police Department initiated an investigation concerning possible fraud at 14005 Fortunes Ridge Court. The suspect, Chetanand Kumar Sewraz, 24, is the homeowner at this address. During this investigation, Chesterfield Police uncovered a plot by the suspect to allegedly murder his wife. This plot involved the manufacture and attempted use of ricin.The Chesterfield County Police Department, with the assistance of the FBI, is conducting an additional search at the same address for evidence. Evidence at this stage of the investigation indicates the suspect manufactured ricin in an attempt to poison his wife. Authorities say this case is not terrorist related. The suspect remains in jail without bond.Please see following fact sheet:FACT SHEET FORINCIDENT AT 14005 FORTUNES RIDGE COURT, MIDLOTHIAN, VASUSPECT: CHETANAND KUMAR SEWRAZ, 24.12/5/05 – Chesterfield County Police take a suspicious fraud report that alleges Sewraz is engaging in suspicious business tactics. Police begin an investigation that substantiates the report. 12/13/05 – Sewraz obtains warrants for his estranged wife, Mariea Gamble, 22, for threatening to bomb, burn or destroy a structure or a vehicle, and a threatening phone call.12/18/05 – Mariea Gamble is arrested in Chesterfield County. She voluntarily turned herself into Chesterfield authorities. She is charged with domestic assault, threatening phone call, threatening to bomb, burn a structure or a vehicle. She is released the same day.1/9/06 - Further investigation into the initial fraud report leads to a search warrant. With the assistance of Virginia State Police and ATF, Chesterfield Police conducted a search of Chetanand K. Sewraz’s Brandermill home. Police removed evidence from the home during the fraud investigation.1/09/06 - Local police arrested and charged Sewraz with abduction and domestic assault. Sewraz is held without bond in the Chesterfield County Jail. 1/9/06 - Chesterfield County Police contact the Mauritius Embassy to inform them of Sewraz’s charges and arrest.1/10/06 – Chesterfield County Police officials remain at the Brandermill home. They remove numerous pieces of evidence from the home including suspicious material that may be related to other crimes.1/10/06 – At 10:15 a.m., Local Richmond media begin contacting Chesterfield County Police to inquire about police presence at the home. Police later confirm Sewraz’s charges and relay this is part of a fraud investigation. Police also confirm Sewraz is separated from his estranged wife, who does not reside in the Brandermill home. Police also release Sewraz’s arrest photo.1/12/06 – ATF obtains an arrest warrant for Sewraz in Florida for possession of a destructive device, an incendiary bomb.1/20/06 – Based on additional information, Chesterfield Police return to Sewraz’s home at 5:10 p.m. to execute a second search warrant for any evidence of manufacturing ricin. Sewraz’s father is at the home.1/30/06 – After processing evidence from the Jan 9. search warrant, police obtain a third search warrant for probable cause and additional fraudulent activity. That begins at 2:25 p.m. Sewraz’s father is at the home.1/31/06 - Sewraz appeared in Chesterfield County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court for a preliminary hearing on the abduction and domestic assault charges.2/4/06 – Chesterfield Police and the FBI return to the home and conduct a federal search warrant. The suspected ricin was in a semi-solid mash form and does not pose a threat to the public. According to Dr. William Nelson, Chesterfield Health Director, ricin is a toxin, not a bacteria or a virus. It cannot be transmitted between people. It is toxic, but only when inhaled, injected or ingested. Contact with skin will usually have no effect.