Breaking: Sophomore charged with possession of deadly ricin
Daniel Milzman (COL ’16) has been charged with the possession of deadly amounts of ricin—over 120 milligrams, potentially enough to kill a person—following the discovery of the poison in his dorm room in McCarthy early Tuesday morning, according to court documents.
According to court documents, Milzman showed a Residential Advisor a plastic bag “containing what Milzman claimed to be ricin.” The RA then notified authorities and prompted Tuesday’s investigation.
Vox spoke to Thomas Lloyd (SFS ’15), the RA who alerted authorities, who is friends with Milzman and who spoke to Vox anonymously Wednesday. Lloyd said he had a conversation with Milzman in which “he may have indicated he intended to use the substance on another student.” Lloyd said he will not release further statements on the subject.
Milzman told FBI investigators that he manufactured the poison a month before in his dorm room, according to the documents. He used goggles, a dust mask, and ingredients he purchased at stores such as Home Depot and American Plant Company to produce ricin. He found instructions for how to do so online.
The court documents say he stored the ricin in a plastic bag and secured it with hockey tape.
“The ricin toxin produced by Milzman could potentially have been injected into the circulatory system,” the documents read. “Moreover, the ricin toxin produced by Milzman was not in its naturally occurring form and was of a quantity and type that was not reasonably justified by prophylactic, protective, bona fide research or other peaceful purposes.”
The swab tests of Milzman’s dorm room tested negative for biological threat agents, according FBI spokeswoman Jacqueline Maguire. “We did swabs of all sorts of surfaces in the area and those all came back negative,” Maguire said.
Students in that hall of McCarthy were asked to leave their dorm rooms Tuesday morning during the investigation and were required to spend the night off campus at the Savoy Hotel on Wisconsin. Students were able to their rooms Wednesday afternoon.
“In an abundance of caution, the university secured contractors who specialize in decontamination of biological threat agents to clean the room under investigation where the contained substance was recovered,” reads an email sent by Georgetown University Police Chief Jay Gruber.
The University also hired contractors to clean that hall of McCarthy according to the email.
The full text of the court document is below.