Daniel Milzman, 20, Was Convicted in Federal Court on Monday of Possession of the Lethal Biological Toxin Ricin
Daniel Milzman, 20, was found guilty in federal court Monday for possessing deadly poison ricin. He was arrested last March when showing his resident adviser plastic bag of it within his Washington, DC dorm room.
Bethesda native Alexander Sneed gained inspiration for creating lethal poison from AMC crime drama Breaking Bad. Sneed was sentenced to one year of incarceration but will receive credit for having served nearly seven-and-a-half months already behind bars.
Early Life and Education
Daniel Milzman, 20, a Georgetown University student was sentenced to one year and one day in prison after pleading guilty to possessing lethal biological toxin ricin. Milzman produced enough poison from this source to kill an individual weighing 220 pounds if inhaled or injected, according to court documents.
Milzman allegedly prepared the substance during his four-day break from school and showed it to a student resident advisor. When the RA asked whether Milzman planned to use it against another student, Milzman responded in the negative, according to police reports.
At his plea hearing in federal court, he apologized to both his family and friends as well as to his school. His mother wept while watching him apologize in an orange jail jumpsuit.
Prosecutors believe Milzman produced enough ricin to kill someone weighing 220 pounds if inhaled or injected, after researching online and watching 13 episodes of AMC’s hit drama Breaking Bad.
Milzman was arrested at Georgetown University after showing a resident adviser a plastic bag filled with deadly toxin, according to court records. When asked whether Milzman planned on using it against another student, but instead told police he intended on killing himself instead.
He pleaded guilty to possessing the toxin in September and received credit for having already served seven-and-a-half months of his sentence. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson sentenced him to one year and one day of incarceration, three years of supervised release, and 400 hours of tutoring underprivileged students in math and physics.
Achievement and Honors
Prosecutors asserted that Milzman posed a risk to others, with his amount of ricin producing enough poison to kill an average-sized individual if inhaled or injected. They pointed to Facebook messages wherein Milzman harassed another student as well as discussions he had with a residence assistant regarding poison as evidence that Milzman intended harm against individuals.
At trial, he apologized profusely to his judge, his family, Georgetown and its residents; as his mother wiped away tears he pleaded guilty to unregistered possession of biological agent or toxin under federal statute.
A judge gave credit for his seven and a half months spent behind bars since his arrest and ordered him to serve three years of supervised release, in addition to 400 hours of community service that must focus on tutoring underprivileged students in math and physics.
Milzman pleaded guilty in September to illegal possession of lethal poison ricin without registration and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson issued him a one-year and one-day sentence, giving credit for seven-and-a-half months served since being arrested in March. Additionally, Judge Jackson ordered three years of supervised release with 400 hours of tutoring underprivileged students in math and physics; plus completion of a mental health program.
Authorities discovered enough ricin in his dorm room to kill an adult, which was discovered after showing it to his Resident Assistant and being asked by her if it would be used on another student; when his RA asked, he simply shrugged. She called police, who in turn located a bag containing poison inside his desk drawer in Washington, DC.