Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Smith pleads guilty to federal charge

Kyle Smith pleaded guilty to possession of ricin for no justifiable peaceful reason in his home in the city of Oshkosh.

Smith was arrested and charged in November for the possession of a deadly substance. Two UW Oshkosh professors initially reported Smith’s suspicious comments to the University Police.

Sentencing for Smith was set for June 2. The charges that he is potentially facing include up to 10 years in prison as well as a $250,000 fine, according to the FBI.
The professors said they became concerned when Smith was asking for ways to extract ricin from castor beans.

UP Chief LeMire said the professors did exactly what they would want them to do in this situation, and that it was a great example of “See Something, Say Something.”
“We built up a culture, the ‘See Something, Say Something,’” LeMire said. “The professors knew that we had a student at risk response team that responds to issues every day of the year. They were able to reach out to the Dean of Students office.”

LeMire wasn’t the only one who was happy with the way that it was handled. U.S. Attorney James Santelle said he was also adamant that “See Something, Say Something” was a very successful tool, especially in this situation.

According to the FBI press release, the U.S. attorneys praised the actions of the professors and all of the administrators that took part in the event for the excellent work they have done.

According to a March 12 Green Bay Press Gazette article, Smith’s plea agreement specified the possession of ricin, and the count of developing a toxin for use as a weapon was dropped.

Smith told police he had no intention of using ricin on anything other than insects or mice, according to court records.

The amount seized from the home was about 8 milligrams of pure ricin, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.

According to the Center of Disease Control, ricin is a toxin that attacks the human cells and blocks their ability to synthesize their protein. Death can occur within 72 hours, and there is no known cure to ricin poisoning.

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