Deadly ricin found at Las Vegas motel - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Deadly ricin found at Las Vegas motel

Posted: Updated:

LAS VEGAS - One man remained in a coma and in critical condition on Friday after the deadly toxin ricin was found in his Las Vegas motel room, police said.

Six others were hospitalized after the ricin was discovered Thursday at the Extended Stay America Motel. Police have said most victims were examined as a precaution.

Las Vegas police Lt. Lewis Roberts said the man has been in a coma since he was found in his room.

Police were called on Thursday to the motel, where officers retrieved a package from the motel manager. The package was determined to be a chemical or controlled substance, Officer Ramone Denby said.

Two preliminary tests indicated the contents contained ricin, Denby said. Results from further tests by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a second local lab were expected Friday, he said

"This event does not appear to be terrorism related," FBI spokesman Richard Kolko in Washington said Friday morning. Kolko said the FBI was assisting local police in the investigation.

But authorities do not know why the man had a vial of the powder in his room.

Ricin, made from processing castor beans, can be lethal.  

"Ricin has no medical uses other than cancer research," police Captain Joseph Lombardo said at a news conference Thursday night. "An individual citizen other than being involved in cancer research or cancer prevention would not have any legal means or proper means of having that."

Homeland security involved in probe
Police cordoned off the area and isolated the room where the substance was found.

Three motel employees and another person had been quarantined and decontaminated at the site, then taken to hospitals for further testing, Denby said. All appeared to be in good condition, he said. Three police officers who had been exposed were also taken to hospitals.

It takes between six and eight hours for someone exposed to ricin to show signs of contamination, Denby said.

Homeland Security officials joined local police in the investigation. Officials from the FBI, Las Vegas Health District, a hazardous materials team and the National Guard were also at the scene.

A woman who answered the phone at the motel declined comment.

Ricin is made from the waste left over from processing castor beans. As little as 500 micrograms, or about the size of the head of a pin, can kill a human, according to the CDC.



(MSNBC.com)
  • Ricin In The NewsMore>>

  • Spokane Man Charged With Mailing Ricin Appears In Federal Court

    Spokane Man Charged With Mailing Ricin Appears In Federal Court

    Wednesday, September 11 2013 9:39 PM EDT2013-09-12 01:39:26 GMT
    Matthew Buquet made an appearance in federal court in Spokane Wednesday.>>
    Matthew Buquet made an appearance in federal court in Spokane Wednesday, charged with sending letters laced with the poison "ricin" to at least five different people and organizations – including the President of the United States.>>
  • Buquet Trial Moved To Next Year

    Buquet Trial Moved To Next Year

    Tuesday, July 9 2013 5:55 PM EDT2013-07-09 21:55:02 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The federal trial of a Spokane man charged with sending a poison letter to President Barack Obama has been delayed until next year because of the complexity of the case.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The federal trial of a Spokane man charged with sending a poison letter to President Barack Obama has been delayed until next year because of the complexity of the case.>>
  • UPDATE: Spokane Ricin Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

    UPDATE: Spokane Ricin Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

    Wednesday, June 26 2013 5:32 PM EDT2013-06-26 21:32:37 GMT
    UPDATE: On Wednesday Matthew Buquet, the Spokane ricin suspect, plead not guilty to charges in the latest indictment against him. The trial date has been set for 7/22/13.>>
    UPDATE: On Wednesday Matthew Buquet, the Spokane ricin suspect, plead not guilty to charges in the latest indictment against him. The trial date has been set for 7/22/13.>>
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • NEW INFORMATION: High Drive brush fire believed to be human caused

    NEW INFORMATION: High Drive brush fire believed to be human caused

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:58 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:58:17 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Tuesday evening the Spokane Fire department announced they had a likely cause for the High Drive brush fire: humans. The fire broke out Monday afternoon about 3pm on the west side of Spokane's South Hill between Qualchan Golf Course and High Drive. By 6pm it had grown to 30 acres and moved to within 75 yards of several homes on High Drive.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Tuesday evening the Spokane Fire department announced they had a likely cause for the High Drive brush fire: humans. The fire broke out Monday afternoon about 3pm on the west side of Spokane's South Hill between Qualchan Golf Course and High Drive. By 6pm it had grown to 30 acres and moved to within 75 yards of several homes on High Drive.>>
  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:07:59 GMT
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
  • WILDFIRE WATCH 2014: DNR tackling new wildfire near Tonasket

    WILDFIRE WATCH 2014: DNR tackling new wildfire near Tonasket

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:03 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:03:06 GMT
    TONASKET, Wash.- The Department of Natural Resources says they are battling a new wildfire northeast of Wauconda and Tonasket. The fire broke out on Tuesday, July 29th and is called the "Torado Mountain" wildfire. DNR crews are attacking this fire from the ground and air.
    >>
    TONASKET, Wash.- The Department of Natural Resources says they are battling a new wildfire northeast of Wauconda and Tonasket. The fire broke out on Tuesday, July 29th and is called the "Torado Mountain" wildfire. DNR crews are attacking this fire from the ground and air.
    >>