KISSIMMEE, Fla. – A Kissimmee man pleaded guilty Tuesday to manufacturing a biological toxin in an attempt to kill his former partner, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced in a news release.
Kevin Deane Jones, 50, faces up to 10 years in federal prison for owning an unlawful amount of ricin — in addition to 10 years per count of possessing two firearms as a convicted felon — meaning Jones could receive up to 30 years in total, according to the Department of Justice.
A plea agreement shows the FBI learned Jones had manufactured the toxin on Dec. 6, 2021.
Federal investigators said a witness told them Jones purchased the materials to make the poison from Amazon.com.
“Law enforcement officers then learned that Jones had ordered numerous items online to produce ricin, had reportedly tested water guns to see which ones leaked, and had said that he would go on vacation immediately after spraying his former partner in the face with the ricin, so that he would have an alibi when she died,” a news release reads.
Officers said they stopped Jones on Dec. 17, 2021, the day he intended to travel out of state, and located a plastic water gun and five tubes filled with liquid that later tested positive for ricin.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ricin can cause death within 36-72 hours if ingested or inhaled. The agency adds Ricin is not found in nature and is a manmade poison.
The case was investigated by multiple agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer M. Harrington.