Mysterious substance at Pelican Bay prison determined to be ricin

CRESCENT CITY, Calif. – A mysterious substance that prompted partial evacuations of two California state prisons last month was determined to be ricin.

The California Department of Corrections said on the morning of July 23, a letter was received at the Pelican Bay State Prison’s administration building. Writing on the letter indicated that it could contain a “suspicious substance.”

The administration building was evacuated as a precaution and the letter was sealed in a bag to prevent possible exposure.

The DOC said Centinela State Prison also received a similar letter and precautions were taken within the mailroom of that institution.

The Del Norte County Triplicate reported the substance was later determined to be ricin, a potentially poisonous substance derived from common Castor beans.

There were no reported injuries due to the substance.


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