- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A San Francisco man who was the target of a nationwide FBI hunt two years ago after deadly toxins and bomb-making material were allegedly found in his apartment agreed Tuesday to a plea deal with prosecutors.

Ryan Chamberlain, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of an unregistered biological agent and one count of possessing a gun with the serial number removed. The former political consultant faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Prosecutors dropped four other charges in exchange for Chamberlain’s guilty plea.

Chamberlain led the FBI on a three-day manhunt in 2014 after investigators allegedly found ingredients to make a bomb. Authorities also found a .22 caliber handgun without a serial number and abrin, a highly toxic substance found in the rosary pea seeds.

Chamberlain came to the FBI’s attention as it investigated and monitored the online marketplace where people allegedly bought and sold guns, bombs, drugs, chemicals and counterfeit goods. A customer who was planning to commit suicide turned himself into police after buying abrin and cyanide and allegedly implicated Chamberlain.

Authorities have not said what, if anything, Chamberlain intended to do with the toxins or with the bomb-making materials and toxins authorities say were found at his apartment.

A witness testified that Chamberlain asked about the dosing size and effects of abrin, as well as if “an autopsy could detect whether abrin had been used to kill an individual,” according to the document. The initial abrin purchase was to be a trial run that, if successful, would be used “on a larger scale,” the witness said.

However, the witness told authorities that Chamberlain had later complained that the abrin he ordered “did not work.”

The federal Centers for Disease Control reports on its website that abrin is not known to have ever been used in war or terrorist attacks, but it has been used in medical research for its potential to kill cancer cells.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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