Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Plot to Murder Ex-Wife with Ricin-Filled Water Pistol
Kevin Deane Jones, 50, of Kissimmee, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after being convicted of a plot to kill his ex-wife using a water pistol filled with ricin poison that he manufactured.
According to court documents and evidence presented during the sentencing hearing, Jones’ ex-wife contacted the FBI’s Tampa office to report Jones had made ricin and wanted to kill her with it after an unnamed witness informed her of his plans, according to the affidavit.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office was also alerted to the murder plot and learned Jones “had become increasingly angry due to child custody issues” involving his ex, the affidavit states.
The poison ricin is found in castor beans and can be adapted into several forms, including water, if it is dissolved, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency warns that it can be deadly within 36 to 72 hours of exposure.
Investigators learned that Jones had ordered numerous items from Amazon to produce ricin, had reportedly tested water guns to see which ones leaked, and had said that he would go on vacation immediately after spraying his former partner in the face with the ricin so that he would have an alibi when she died.
Law enforcement learned that Jones intended to travel to Texas, where his ex-wife lived. Officers in Florida conducted a traffic stop on Jones, and he admitted post-Miranda to manufacturing ricin. Officers found a plastic water gun in Jones’s truck and five tubes filled with liquids that tested positive for ricin. A search of Jones’s residence revealed additional tubes containing ricin, castor beans, documents about ricin, and approximately 200 rounds of ammunition.
Additional investigation revealed that on December 6, 2021, Jones, a convicted felon prohibited from possessing firearms, was questioned by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regarding his possession of weapons. Following the ATF visit, Jones removed multiple firearms and ammunition and took them to a storage unit rented in his name. Law enforcement later searched the storage unit and found a rifle, handgun, silencer, and approximately 3,000 rounds of ammunition.
Jones was also charged and sentenced for possessing a firearm by a convicted felon and violating the National Firearms Act for possessing the silencer.
“We appreciate the efforts of our partners in federal law enforcement for helping to bring Mr. Jones to justice,” said Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez. “He is a dangerous individual who put not only the victim but the community at risk. He deserves to be in prison for a long time.”
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