ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida man will now spend 10 years in prison after trying to murder his ex-partner in a plot involving the biological toxin ricin.
A release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida said Kevin Dean Jones, 50, of Kississimee was under investigation after the FBI got a tip on Dec. 6, 2021, that Jones was making ricin.
Ricin is a poison made from castor oil beans and can kill cells by keeping them from manufacturing proteins, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC states that a person can die 36 to 72 hours after exposure to the poison — either in powder, mist, or pellet form. There is no antidote for ricin poisoning, so treatment focuses on minimizing the effects of the poisoning.
Federal officials said the FBI learned Jones purchased several items to make ricin from the internet and tested water guns to see if they would leak so he could spray his ex in her face.
After spraying her in the face, Jones planned to go on vacation to have an alibi when she would have died.
However, Jones’ plans did not come to fruition.
“On December 17, 2021, law enforcement officers learned that Jones intended to travel to another state, where his former partner lived,” the release said. “Officers stopped Jones, and he admitted to manufacturing ricin. Officers found a plastic water gun in Jones’s truck, as well as five tubes filled with liquids that later tested positive for ricin. A search of Jones’s residence revealed additional tubes containing ricin, along with castor beans, documents pertaining to ricin, and approximately 200 rounds of various types of ammunition.”
In addition to the ricin, authorities learned that on Dec. 6, 2021, Jones was questioned by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for having weapons despite being a convicted felon.
After the questioning, Jones put several guns and ammunition in a storage unit in his name. According to investigators, the storage unit had “a rifle, handgun, silencer, and approximately 3,000 rounds of various types of ammunition.”
“We appreciate the efforts of our partners in federal law enforcement for helping to bring Mr. Jones to justice,” Osceola Sheriff Marcos Lopez said. “He is a dangerous individual who put not only the victim, but the community at risk. He deserves to be in prison for a long time.”
Jones pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing ricin and for possessing two firearms as a convicted felon on May 10, 2022.
Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Wendy W. Berger sentenced him to 10 years in prison and order him to forfeit his guns.