A British court handed down a eight-year prison sentence Friday to a Liverpool man for trying to buy lethal ricin poison online after watching the crime drama television series “Breaking Bad.” Mohammed Ali was found guilty in July of attempting to possess a chemical weapon.
Ali bought 500 miligrams of the powder -- enough to kill 1,400 people -- in January for $500 from a supplier -- an undercover FBI agent on the dark web or dark net, which refers to websites that are publicly visible, but their IP addresses are hidden. He was arrested the next morning at his Liverpool home.
"I was interested in the dark net and ricin. I just wanted to know what the fuss was about. I wanted to know can you actually get anything from these sites. So I go on one of these websites... I found lots of different items ranging from drugs, guns, other illegal items, and because I had been watching Breaking Bad TV show I just had ricin in my mind," Ali reportedly said at the time.
During his trial, the 31-year-old software programmer, reportedly said that he was "curious" and wanted ricin for a "peaceful purpose."
Justice Saunders, a senior judge at the Old Bailey criminal court said: "It seems to me that this is the sort of case where a deterrent sentence has to be passed. Everyone needs to know that the possession of a chemical weapon is extremely serious and long prison sentences will follow," according to the Mirror.