Fannin County sheriff Dane Kirby has confirmed a Fannin County resident, William Christopher Gibbs, drove himself to the local hospital claiming he had come in contact with the lethal substance Ricin.
Sheriff Kirby said a field test of the car driven by Gibbs did test positive for Ricin. Ricin is a highly toxic, naturally occurring lectin (a carbohydrate-binding protein) produced in the seeds of the castor oil plant. A dose of purified ricin powder the size of a few grains of table salt can kill an adult human.
Gibbs, who is 27 years old and lives in Morganton, GA, was arrested on February 2nd on reckless conduct and probation violation charges. He is currently incarcerated at Fannin County.
Multiple agencies were at the man’s resident last Friday, February 3rd , including the 4th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team of the Army National Guard and the Cherokee County Fire Department. The mass response was to ensure the safety of the area.
Federal Bureau of Investigation has stated there is no evidence any toxic substances have been released and there is no belief the public is at risk. The FBI will be continuing its investigation. FYN will update should be information become available.