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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Texas

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Henderson County Man Sentenced for Unlawfully Possessing Ricin

TYLER, Texas – A 20-year-old Athens, Texas, man has been sentenced to federal prison for the unlawful possession of ricin in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown and Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers today.

Abel Keith Fulton pleaded guilty on Mar. 20, 2018 and was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Robert W. Schroeder, III.  Fulton was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $30,060.00 for costs incurred by law enforcement officials in connection with the removal of the hazardous materials and decontamination of his residence.

According to information presented in court, from August to September 2016, Fulton possessed ricin at his home in Athens, Texas.  Ricin is a biological toxin that can be fatal if ingested, inhaled, or injected.  There is no known antidote or cure for ricin poisoning.  Fulton made the ricin using supplies that he purchased online. 

                This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Athens Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Coan and Trial Attorney Jerome Teresinski of the Department of Justice National Security Division. 



National Security
Updated August 3, 2018