SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah Navy veteran confessed to sending four envelopes containing the substance from which ricin is derived to President Donald Trump and members of his administration, authorities said in court documents.
William Clyde Allen III, 39, made the confession while speaking with investigators after his arrest at his house in the small city of Logan, north of Salt Lake City, according to documents filed Wednesday night in a Utah court. He told them he had purchased castor beans and sent the letters that had the beans in them.
The documents filed to justify Allen’s arrest did not state a motive. He was being held on a $25,000 cash-only bond.
State investigators working with the FBI said the envelopes with ground castor beans were mailed last week to the president, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the Navy’s top officer, Adm. John Richardson.
Authorities have said the letters were intercepted and no one was injured. Castor beans can cause injury if swallowed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says
Investigators say all four letters tested positive for ricin.
No attorney has been listed for Allen. A federal complaint is expected to be filed Friday.
Allen served in the Navy from 1998 to 2002, according to Navy records. He has a criminal record in Utah including child abuse and attempted aggravated assault.
Last year, he sent a vague email threat to the Air Force, said Logan police Capt. Tyson Budge, though military officials did not believe he was capable of carrying it out.
Another letter sent to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert in July blamed him for health problems Allen’s wife was suffering, Budge said.