A substance Arizona health officials identified as ricin after it was confiscated from a man on Saturday was not the deadly toxin, the Arizona Republic reports. Federal prosecutors say Casey Cutler, 25, still will face federal charges because he intended to create the lethal substance. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. epidemiologists could not identify the substance.
Hazardous-materials teams collected white powder samples from Cutler’s apartment after his former roommate said he may have been poisoned by ricin. The FBI said Cutler had attempted to make ricin (processed from castor beans) by boiling castor oil. The investigation had Arizona’s FBI special agents swarming around Cutler’s apartment complex in white hazardous-materials suits, collecting evidence and samples for testing. An FBI spokesperson said of all the concern over the substance: “Sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry.”