Attorneys for the U.S. government say that two Toccoa men charged with plotting attacks against the U.S. government and its citizens were not just talking, but preparing to take action.
Opening statements in the trial of Samuel J. Crump and Ray H. Adams took place Tuesday morning in U.S. District Court in Gainesville.
Calling it a case of actions coupled with the men’s words, Federal Prosecutor Jeffrey Brown said the men not only talked about attacking federal buildings and cities, but also possessed thousands of castor beans, used to make ricin, identical recipes for making ricin, and tools used in the ricin extraction process.
In addition, Brown said that Crump had shelled some of the castor beans and that items found on Adams’ property had tested positive for ricin.
However, defense attorneys for Crump and Adams questioned all of those claims in their opening statements.
Adams’ attorney, Barry Lombardo, said the only evidence the government has is conversation and castor beans, arguing that their test results are not correct.
Lombardo said the men were just talking big, but were not planning to do anything, saying that you cannot make ricin off an Internet recipe in a garage.
Crump’s attorney, Dan Summer, agreed. He said Crump was a good man caught in a bad plan that was actually the work of the government’s informant in the case, Joseph Harold Sims, Jr., who was using the defendants to try and provide the government with something that would lessen his sentence on charges he faced
Sims pleaded guilty last year in South Carolina to 21 counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Court records indicate that a number of other charges, including a child molestation charge, were dropped. With time served, Sims served five months in prison.
Adams and Crump are both charged with Conspiracy to Possess and Produce a Biological Toxin, Ricin, For Use as a Weapon and Possession of a Biologicial Toxin, Ricin, For Use as a Weapon. Adams is also charged with Attempted Possession of a Biological Toxin, Ricin, For Use as a Weapon.
They were arrested back in November 2011, along with Dan Roberts of Toccoa and Frederick Thomas of Cleveland.
Roberts and Thomas each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to obtain an unregistered explosive device and silencer in April 2012 in connection with the case and were sentenced to five years in federal prison in August 2012.