FBI charges man with possessing toxin



-- Federal law enforcement officials on Friday announced the arrest of an Ohio man for possessing a toxin that can be used as a biological weapon.

FBI officers arrested Jeffrey B. Levenderis, 54, after tests showed that a substance removed from the Coventry Township man's home was ricin. Ricin is a poison manufactured from castor beans.

Levenderis was charged with one count of unlawful possession of a biological agent. However, authorities do not believe the substance was to be used in a terrorist act.

The arrest took place three days after federal and local authorities searched Levenderis' former home near Akron. The residence is in foreclosure, according to Cleveland FBI Special Agent Scott Wilson.

Tests conducted at the National Bioforensic Analysis Center in Maryland confirmed that the substance was ricin, Wilson said.

"Ricin is a very poisonous toxin that certainly can be fatal if it's injected or you breathe it in or you eat it," Wilson said. "They're still doing a second search of the residence to make sure there aren't any other hazardous materials in the house."