FBI arrests 70-year-old retiree for possession of 'biological weapon'

Posted at 3:33 PM, Dec 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-01 15:33:00-05

SHELBURNE, VT (CNN/RNN) – A 70-year-old resident of a retirement community has been arrested by federal authorities as part of an investigation into a deadly poison being found in an apartment.

Betty Miller was arrested for making ricin in her apartment, the FBI said in a statement, according to WCAX.

She wanted to harm herself but was testing it first by sprinkling it onto the food and beverages of other residents of the Wake Robin retirement community.

She told investigators that she learned how to make ricin on the internet and harvested about 30 or 40 castor beans on the property of the community. She made three or four tablespoons of the deadly powder and then placed it in “multiple servings of other residents’ food and beverages over a period of weeks.”

The FBI said none of the residents reported symptoms consistent with ricin poisoning.

Last Monday, Miller drove herself to a hospital to be checked and is now being charged with possessing a biological weapon, a violation of federal law.

She is set to appear in court on Friday, Dec. 1. Federal prosecutors said she planned the crime carefully and is pushing to have her remain in custody while the investigation continues.

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