Breaking Bad fan facing jail over bid to buy deadly ricin poison on Dark Web


A computer geek is facing jail for trying to buy deadly ricin poison from the Dark Web after being inspired by the hit US television series Breaking Bad.

Software programmer Mohammed Ali, 31, was found guilty last month of attempting to possess a chemical weapon between January 10 and February 12.

Ali will be sentenced by senior judge Mr Justice Saunders at the Old Bailey later this morning.

Under the username Weirdos 0000, Ali struck a deal with a supplier on the internet black market to buy 500mg of powder for 500 US dollars (£320) - enough to kill 1,400 people.

Ali was unaware that his source Psychochem was in fact an FBI agent who tipped off police in England and substituted the consignment of ricin for harmless powder.

After the father of two took delivery of a toy car with five vials hidden in the battery compartment, police swooped to arrest him at his home in Prescot Road, Liverpool.

Under ultraviolet light, Ali's face lit up showing that he had handled the package which had been specially treated with a marker substance.

Computer analysis showed that Ali first began trawling the internet for information on poisons such as abrin, ricin and cyanide in October last year.

The court heard Ali approached the undercover agent in January with a private message: "Hi, would you be able to make me some ricin and send it to the UK?"

In a series of encrypted chats they discussed the price of a lethal dose, discounts for bulk orders and repeat purchases, and ricin's "shelf life", jurors were told.

At one point Ali asked: "How do I test this ricin?" and received the instruction: "You must test it on a rodent."

Records showed that on February 4 - days before the delivery - he made a payment of 2.1849 Bitcoins, the online currency.

Around this time, Ali had made a to-do list on his computer which included the entries "paid ricin guy" and "get pet to murder", the court heard.

He had also made a series of internet searches for chinchillas, animal rescue centres, rabbits and "pocket-sized pets".

In his defence, Ali told jurors that he was just "curious" and wanted to test the boundaries of the Dark Web, unaware that ricin was illegal.

He said: "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."