Ex-Inmate Indicted for Sending Ricin to Prison

A Belarusian man has been indicted on charges of mailing packages containing a poisonous substance to a California state prison. 

A U.S. grand jury in San Francisco indicted Vladislav Victorvic Timoshchuk on on six charges, including two counts of attempting to transfer a toxin for use as a weapon, two counts of mailing an injurious article, and two counts of interstate and foreign communication of a threat. For the toxin counts alone, Timoshchuk faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

One evelope was addressed to the warden and came with a note warning it was “laced with deadly ricin powder.” The other was sent to a purported prison gang member and called on officials to release that inmate. Timoshchuk, 34, was once a California inmate and was deported to Belarus after his release.

Between 2016 and 2018 officials at Pelican Bay intercepted mail from Belarus to members of a prison gang, including to the inmate who was sent the ricin, and in 2017 Anaheim Police investigated a threat demanding the release of that same inmate if authorities wanted to avoid the “execution” of a school student every day until he was released. 

Interestingly Timoschuk was never housed at Pelican Bay State Prison, and in another strange twist to this story the Federal Bureau of Prisons intercepted a Christmas card last year from Belarus to Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, in which it is reported that Timoshchuk claimed responsibilty for the shooting threats, and discussed plans to send Ricin in the mail to the USA. 

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