San Fran PR Man Gets 30|Months on Poison Charge

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a former San Francisco political consultant to 30 months in prison and 12 years of probation for possessing a biological toxin and a firearm with the serial number removed.
     The sentence comes after U.S. District Judge Vincent Chhabria chided prosecutors for recommending only three years of supervised release for Ryan Chamberlain, who worked on California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s San Francisco mayoral campaign.”From the standpoint of protecting the safety of the public, three years of supervised release is grossly inadequate. Even the recommendation of a 10-year period of supervised release is significantly inadequate,” Chhabria said at Chamberlain’s first sentencing hearing last week.
     The recommendation came with limits to and monitoring of Chamberlain’s Internet use and the requirement of mental health counseling. The government’s probation office recommended 10 years of supervised release with the same strict conditions.
     Chamberlain has been in jail since his arrest in June 2014. The FBI had him under surveillance for weeks and found records of poisons purchased on the dark Web and shipped to his apartment.
     Agents hunted Chamberlain for three days after he fled, and eventually apprehended him in a San Francisco park. He’d also posted a suicide note online in which he talked about his depression, family troubles and a difficult break-up.
     Chamberlain pleaded guilty to two charges in February. In his plea agreement, Chamberlain detailed his dark Web purchase of two vials of the biological toxin abrin concealed in flashlights. Chamberlain also bought a .22 caliber Derringer pistol.
     The agreement also lists a myriad of other items seized during law enforcement searches of Chamberlain’s San Francisco apartment between May 31, 2014 and June 12, 2014: a jar containing a circuit board receiver, a rocket motor, screws and ball bearings, sodium cyanide, syringes, and castor beans – from which the poison ricin is derived.
     Chhabria rejected the agreement, saying last week that the record of Chamberlain’s purchases strongly indicated that he intended to harm others.
     Chamberlain entered a new plea agreement Wednesday calling for 30 months of incarceration and 12 years of supervised release, again with strict conditions on and monitoring of his Internet use. It also requires that he undergo mental health counseling and personal searches.
     “I’d like to reiterate what I said last week, that this entire situation is a situation of depression, and unfortunately created suicidal ideation, and never was there a threat to the community or any human being,” Chamberlain told the court during the sentencing hearing.

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