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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 10, 2014

UW-Oshkosh Student Charged in Federal Court With Possession of Ricin

United States Attorney James L. Santelle announced today that Kyle Allen Smith (Age:  21) of Oshkosh has been arrested on a criminal complaint and charged with possession of ricin in violation of  Title 18, United States Code, Section 175(b).  If found guilty of the offense Smith faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

According to the criminal complaint Smith approached two UW- Oshkosh professors. On one occasion Smith inquired about oil and protein extraction from seeds, and subsequently he discussed with a second professor the extracting of ribosomal inhibiting protein.  The complaint also alleges Smith used his desktop computer to research ricin.

The substance that Smith produced tested positive for the toxin ricin.  The case was investigated by the Oshkosh Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul L. Kanter.

A criminal complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated January 29, 2015