The Justice Department said a New York man has been charged with trying to obtain and distribute the highly potent and potentially fatal toxin known as ricin. He was caught by an uncover FBI agent in an online forum.
U.S. officials announced Tuesday that Cheng Le has been indicted on two counts and faces life in prison for his attempt to have ricin sent to him last month by U.S. mail. According to a Justice Department statement, he wanted to resell the ricin to at least one buyer.
The FBI arranged a "Sham Shipment" that the defendant collected at a U.S. Post Office box wearing latex gloves. The 21-year-old Le took the package back to his Manhattan apartment where he was arrested December 23.
He faces two counts. The first charges Le with attempting to possess a biological toxin for use as a weapon and carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. The second charges him with using a fictitious name in furtherance of unlawful business involving the mail. It carries a maximum jail sentence of five years.