Man who had ricin makings given 3 years for extortion

September 14, 2005|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A Hyattsville man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Greenbelt to more than three years in prison after he admitted he kept a stash of hand grenades and ingredients for a powerful poison in his home while he threatened a business competitor.

Myron Tereshchuk, 43, could have received a maximum of 15 years in prison when he appeared before U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus. Tereshchuk had pleaded guilty in June to extortion for attempting to force a business competitor to pay him $17 million. FBI agents searching his home in the case found weapons and chemicals.

Tereshchuk admitted possessing firearms, grenade hulls, chemicals, explosive powder, firecrackers and items related to the production of ricin, listed as a possible biological weapon under federal law. That material includes large quantities of castor beans, from which ricin is made, as well as tools and literature on ricin production.

Prosecutors said Tereshchuk's business, Potomac Filewrapper Service, competed with MicroPatent, a trademark information company. They said Tereshchuk sent e-mails with sexually explicit or confidential material to MicroPatent clients and tried to extort money from the firm.

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