Phoenix Man Attempted to Create Biological Weapon


By: Jim Kouri, CPP

Denys Ray Hughes, 59, of Phoenix, Arizona, was sentenced on Monday by United States District Court Judge Earl H. Carroll to 87 months in prison for the Attempted Production of a Biological Toxin for Use as a Weapon, and Possession of an Unregistered Destructive Device, and Possession of an Unregistered Silencer.

In delivering his sentence, Judge Carroll noted the case was one of the most serious cases to come before him as a judge, and that the evidence at trial overwhelmingly proved Hughes attempted and intended to produce the deadly biological toxin ricin. A federal jury convicted Hughes of the charges on June 30, 2006.

United States Attorney Paul K. Charlton stated, “Hughes was a home grown threat who tried to create a home-made toxin for use as a weapon. We may never know his motive, but his intent was clear. We may begin to see more of these types of cases.”

“It is our hope, therefore, that this prosecution will serve notice on those who live within our borders and would do us harm, that we will hammer them,” he said

Special Agent in Charge John E. Lewis, of the Phoenix FBI Division stated during a press conference, “The FBI is committed to enhanc[ing] communications, coordination and cooperation between federal, state, and local government agencies. The Hughes investigation is an example of these efforts as the FBI worked with law enforcement agencies outside the State of Arizona, and local law enforcement agencies on the Joint Terrorism Task Force, DEA and ATF.”

William D. Newell, Special Agent in Charge for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF), stated, “This is an example of ATF’s continued commitment to the safety and protection of the people of this great country.”

“Today’s decision sends a clear message that anyone that wishes to engage in the manufacturing of these deadly biological toxins (ricin) will be dealt with swiftly by ATF and prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law. ATF is proud of the strong relationships we have with our fellow law enforcement agencies not only in Arizona, but across this nation,” he added.

The evidence at trial showed the defendant grew approximately nine castor bean plants, and cultivated thousands of their seeds, which contain the toxin ricin. Hughes also possessed the necessary precursor materials, as well as written instructions for extracting the toxin. The government also proved at trial that Hughes possessed a destructive device, a pipe bomb, and multiple silencers.

The investigation leading to the guilty verdict was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, jointly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Russell County Sheriff’s Department in Kansas and the Vilas County Sheriff’s Dept. Eagle River, Wisconsin, also assisted on the case. The prosecution was handled by Michael Morrissey, Assistant US Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

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Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com and PHXnews.com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us

About The Author Jim Kouri, CPP:
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.
Website:http://jimkouri.us

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