Four men accused of ricin plot

Four Georgia men accused of plotting a violent attack against Americans using the toxic agent ricin recently made their first court appearance in front of a Gainesville judge this week.

Frederick Thomas and Emory Dan Roberts were brought first before Magistrate Court Judge Susan Cole. Both men had to cup their ears with their hands in order to better hear the judge’s instructions. The two men, along with Ray H. Adams and Samuel J. Crump requested and were granted court-appointed attorneys to represent them at their upcoming probable cause hearing, according to

Federal law enforcement authorities allege that the four men held secret meetings since March to discuss using toxic agents such as ricin and a series of assassinations to undermine federal and state governments.

“There’s no way for us, as militiamen, to save this country, to save Georgia, without doing something that’s highly illegal: murder,” Thomas said, according to a sworn affidavit, reports. "When it comes to saving the Constitution, that means some people gotta die."

Adams previously worked as a laboratory technician at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Research Service. Adams is accused of trying to help Crump obtain a quantity of ricin for use in the plot. Crump once worked as a maintenance contractor for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At a meeting secretly recorded by an informant working for the FBI, Crump said he wanted to make 10 pounds of ricin to disperse in U.S. cities, including Washington, Newark and Atlanta. Crump said he thought that the toxic agent could be blown from a car traveling on interstate highways.

“All ya gotta do is lay it in the damn road, the cars are gonna spread it,” Crump said, reports. “Ya get on the trunk of Atlanta, you get up on the north side, ya get on 41, ya throw it out there right on 285, ya go up 41 or 75, go up 75 to get away from it. Keep the heater on, that way it keeps the pressure out. Don’t roll your window down.”

The FBI affidavit said that in October, Adams showed the informant a castor bean taken from a storage container in his garage. Castor beans are the main ingredient used to make ricin.

Bond will not be considered until the probable cause hearing. All of the alleged militia members were returned to the Hall County Jail following their appearance before the judge. Family members, shielded by court-appointed attorney Jeff Ertl, declined to comment as they left the courthouse.