Georgetown Univ. student gets 366-day prison term for making ricin in his dorm room
A 20-year-old Georgetown University student was sentenced on Monday to 366 days in prison for making ricin inside his dorm that his attorney said was part of a suicide attempt, WUSA-TV reported.
Daniel Harry Milzman apologized for his behavior during his sentencing hearing. He pleaded guilty in September to unregistered possession of a biological agent or toxin. Justice Department officials said he had prepared enough ricin to kill a 220-pound person who either inhaled it or had it injected into them.
His sentence includes having to perform 400 hours of community service over the course of the next three years, during which he will be supervised. He must also take part in a “mental health program.”
“I never intended to put anyone in any risk of danger. My actions were reckless and unacceptable,” Milzman said at the tearing. “I am sorry I broke the trust you placed in me.”
The FBI said in a statement that, between January and March of this year, Milzman looked up a ricin “recipe” online and also watched 13 episodes of the television show Breaking Bad depicting its use to injure or kill characters.
Milzman was arrested on March 18 and confessed to possessing the ricin, saying he wanted to use it on himself. But that statement reportedly ran counter to a “confidential” conversation he had with a friend and resident advisor at the university a day earlier.
According to authorities, Milzman showed his friend a double-wrapped plastic bag containing the ricin and “simply shrugged” when the friend asked if he planned to use it against a fellow student with whom he had a “previous personal relationship.” The friend notified investigators following that conversation, leading to his arrest.
The Washington Post reported that prosecutors argued to Judge Ketanji B. Jackson that Milzman receive a two-year sentence.
“This was deliberately thought out and well planned,” Maia L. Miller said of Milzman’s actions.
A Georgetown student who identified himself as “Nick” told reporters outside the hearing that Milzman did not have the support of many of his fellow students during his trial.
Watch WUSA’s report, as aired on Monday, below.