September 1, 2014
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A man who was unconscious in a hospital when
ricin was found in his Las Vegas motel room has been sentenced to
3½ years in federal prison for possessing the deadly toxin.
Roger Bergendorff said at his sentencing Monday that he never intended to hurt anyone.
He has admitted distilling ricin from the beans of a backyard castor plant while he lived in San Diego in 1998. He says he kept it with him when he moved to Reno, the Salt Lake City area and Las Vegas.
Authorities say 57-year-old was troubled but not a terrorist. He pleaded guilty to possessing a biological toxin and unregistered handgun silencers.
The ricin was found by a relative while Bergendorff was being hospitalized. Authorities suspected that ricin had made him sick but he denies that.
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