By Paul Elias
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal grand jury has indicted a Northern California social media expert who was the subject of an FBI manhunt on bomb and gun charges, the U.S. Attorney's office in San Francisco announced Friday.
The indictment of Ryan Chamberlain, 42, alleging possession of a destructive device replaces a criminal complaint that accused him of trying to build a remote-controlled bomb in his San Francisco apartment. The indictment also charges Chamberlain with possessing a handgun without serial numbers.
Chamberlain's public defender didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.
Chamberlain was arrested June 2 after a three-day manhunt that authorities say was prompted by the discovery of bomb-making materials at his apartment. Authorities also said they found lethal toxins that were purchased online.
In a search-warrant affidavit filed with the court, FBI agent Michael Eldridge said witnesses reported shipping pure nicotine and abrin toxins to Chamberlain.
Authorities have not said what, if anything, Chamberlain intended to do with the toxins or with the bomb-making materials and toxins authorities say were found at his apartment.
According to investigators, Chamberlain told the seller of the abrin that wanted to use the poison — found in the seeds of a plant called the rosary pea — to "ease the suffering" of cancer patients.
The U.S. Attorney's office said the FBI began to investigate Chamberlain during an investigation of the "deep Web" and anonymous websites that sell and buy illegal goods and services.
Chamberlain hasn't entered a plea and remains jailed without bail. He is scheduled for a bail hearing June 16. Chamberlain faces up to 10 years in prison if he's convicted.
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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press