Archive for Thursday, October 23, 2008

Man who knew cousin had ricin gets probation

October 23, 2008


— A judge on Wednesday sentenced a Utah man who knew his cousin had deadly ricin to two years' probation and ordered him to pay a $500 fine.

Thomas Tholen, 54, pleaded guilty Aug. 11 to failing to report a crime. His cousin, Roger Bergendorff, 57, pleaded guilty Aug. 4 in Las Vegas to possessing a biological toxin and is expected to be sentenced Nov. 3 to three years and a month in federal prison.

Police and prosecutors have cast Bergendorff as a troubled man who made the ricin on his own years ago, and they have said the case was not linked to terrorism. Initially they didn't know what to think because Bergendorff was incapacitated and in a hospital when the ricin was found in his Las Vegas motel room in February.

Bergendorff lived at Tholen's house in the Salt Lake City suburb of Riverton in 2005-06.


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