A pair of Georgia militia members convicted of a domestic terror plot to deploy ricin in U.S. cities each received 10-year sentences on Friday.
The New York Times reported that Samuel J. Crump, 71, and Ray H. Adams, 58, avoided life terms for charges connected to their anti-government scheme. They were arrested in 2011, along with two others, and were charged earlier this year.
Investigators said the men belonged to a fringe militia group and had devised a half-baked plan to poison several American cities in a stand against the federal government.
The pair had stored several containers of castor beans, which can be used to make ricin, with plans to harvest the poison and release it in five cities, including Washington, D.C. the Times reported.
“You take a pound of that (unintelligible), get upwind, up around Washington, DC, get about 20,000 feet (in an airplane), and turn that shit loose, it’d cover the whole (unintelligible) of Washington,” Crump said, according to investigators.
The septuagenarian later handed off one of the containers to an undercover FBI informant.
“This is not some laughing old guys talking kind of thing,” Judge Richard W.Story told the defendants on Friday, as quoted by the Times. “We’re talking about conduct that could have hurt innocent people if you had been able to carry it out.”
“I would not have hurt anyone,” said Mr. Adams, who stored the containers in his own home, according to the Times. “I get angry at the government sometimes, but no more than anyone else.”
Two other members of the militia in 2012 were each sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to related charges.