Startling details are emerging out of Fannin County as the sheriff said a resident there ended up at an area hospital claiming to have come in contact with the deadly substance Ricin.
William Christopher Gibbs, 27, drove himself to the hospital last week claiming he had Ricin on his hands, according to Fannin County Sheriff Dane Kirby. A field test of the car driven by Gibbs gave a positive result for Ricin, according to the sheriff.
Residents said Friday about 100 officers in unmarked black vehicles swarmed a Morganton neighborhood. This rattled many residents because they saw people in HAZMAT suits and they did not know what was going on.
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“All of the sudden a whole host of law enforcement vehicles showed up in our parking lot, somewhere between 30 to 40 vehicles. And around 100 law enforcement individuals,” said Morganton Mayor Mike England.
U.S. Attorney John Horn said the 4th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team of the Army National Guard and the Cherokee County Fire Department were in Fannin County to make sure everything was safe.
Horn said the Federal Bureau of Investigation has “no evidence that any poisonous or toxic substances have been dispersed or that the public is at risk,” but the FBI will be continuing their investigation into the incident.
Gibbs is being held at the Fannin County Jail on reckless conduct and probation violation charges.
Ricin is naturally occurring, found in the seed of certain plants, but when refined and purified can kill a fully-grown adult in the amount equal to just a few grains of table salt.
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