A Kissimmee man is facing up to twenty years in federal prison after pleading guilty to manufacturing ricin from castor beans in order to kill his former partner.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, 50-year-old Kevin Deane Jones pled guilty on Tuesday, May 10, to unlawful possession of ricin and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Ricin is a highly potent toxin produced in the seeds of castor-oil plants. A lethal dose of ricin is only a few milligrams. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, death from ricin poisoning can take place anywhere from 36 to 72 hours after exposure.
Last December, the FBI received a complaint that Jones had manufactured ricin and intended to use it to kill his former partner. At the time, law enforcement officers discovered that Jones had ordered numerous items online to produce ricin, had tested water guns, and said he was going to go on vacation immediately after spraying his former partner in the face with the ricin so as to have an alibi.
Later that month, law enforcement officers learned that Jones intended to travel to visit his former partner out of state. Officers stopped Jones, and located a plastic water gun in Jones’s truck, as well as five tubes filled with liquids that later tested positive for ricin.
Jones admitted to manufacturing ricin and a search of his residence revealed additional tubes containing ricin, along with castor beans, documents pertaining to the toxin, and approximately 200 rounds of various types of ammunition.
Law enforcement officers also discovered that Jones hid a rifle, handgun, silencer, and approximately 3,000 rounds of various types of ammunition in a nearby storage unit. Jones is a previously convicted felon and is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.