Attorney: SF bomb suspect had castor plant beans

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An attorney has revealed that castor beans, which contain the poison ricin, were allegedly found in a bomb suspect's home in SF.

Political and media consultant Ryan Chamberlain pleaded not guilty Monday in federal court to charges that he had a bomb and a gun with its serial number removed. Chamberlain was arrested earlier this month after a nationwide manhunt.

The government on Monday revealed new details about what they found in Chamberlain's apartment during their search. All this took place at a hearing where the judge considered bail. The government argued that he's a flight risk and a danger to the public. Chamberlain's lawyer, on the other hand, asked for bail, but only under one condition.

Ryan Chamberlain's attorney Jodi Linker asked the judge for bail, saying her client should be ordered to San Francisco General Hospital's mental health ward so he could receive treatment. The judge denied the request.

The FBI raided Chamberlain's apartment two weeks ago and found what they said was a homemade, remote-controlled bomb. Other evidence suspected to be toxins were sent to the FBI lab for testing.

Chamberlain was arrested two days later at Crissy Field in San Francisco.

On Monday, federal prosecutors revealed that a package containing castor beans was found in Chamberlain's apartment. Castor beans can be used to make ricin, a lethal toxin.

The indictment also says he wanted to produce two other deadly toxins by trying to buy abrin and pure nicotine.

But there was no indication either was found in his home.

Assistant U.S. attorney Philip Kearney told the judge, "I can't see any other reason but that he wanted to kill human beings."

Kearny also said the explosive device was a mason jar with ball bearings and other shrapnel causing items, connected to a remote control trigger, which was like a clothes pin with its jaws attached to wires and a battery.

Green powder found at the apartment turned out to be potassium sulphur chloride, which is a volatile chemical.

The prosecutor also said the evidence would include an analysis of Chamberlain's computer. Specifically that he searched the internet using keywords like WMD, poison, homicide, suicide, killing and untraceable.

Linker shot back saying, "You don't jail people based on what their searches are on the computer."

Hastings Law School professor Hadar Aviram specializes in criminal justice. She says computer searches are an important law enforcement tool.

"Even though we don't prosecute people for what they think or for what they dream or feel, we can have that as an indication that tells us something about what their intent was," Aviram said.

Prosecutors on Monday also identified the gun with the shaved serial number which was found during the search of Chamberlain's apartment. They said it was a loaded 22 caliber Derringer. They also seized 42 rounds of ammunition.
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FBIhazmatSFPDcrimesearchbomb threatarrestcourtSan Francisco
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