Vegas Ricin Man Arrested After Hospital Stay

'Exotic idea' to poison foes, not terror, believed behind toxin
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2008 5:05 PM CDT
A floor mat in a camper belonging to John Walster sits in Walster's back yard Tuesday, March 4, 2008, in Riverton, Utah. The camper was used in 2006 as temporary quarters by Roger Bergendorff.   (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
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(Newser) – Roger Bergendorff, hospitalized in February for exposure to the toxin ricin, was charged today in Las Vegas in what authorities say was an "exotic idea" to strike at foes—and not a terror plot, the AP reports. Bergendorff, 57, faces charges including possession of a biological toxin, traces of which were found in his hotel room Feb. 26—while he was in a coma.

"Bergendorff admitted that there have been people who have made him mad over the years and he had thoughts about causing them harm to the point of making some plans," the complaint—which could land him in jail for 30 years—said. "However, he maintained that he never acted on those thoughts or plans."