CRIME

Weapon Of Mass Destruction At Florida Motel A Hoax; No Ricin Or Toxins Found

02/28/2012 11:33 am ET | Updated Feb 29, 2012

Two Florida men were charged with serious felonies after they threatened cops with a weapon of mass destruction -- all because they didn't want to get arrested on an unrelated warrant, cops said.

Fort Pierce police told CBS that Michael James Conley, 64, and his son Michael Hughes, 28, locked themselves inside an area motel when cops arrived to arrest Conley on a warrant. Then, they claimed to have ricin, a highly toxic poison.

Conley "held up a knife and held up some sort of vial with an unknown substance in it," Sgt. Dennis McWilliams told the station. "He was threatening to do harm to himself and anyone who entered the room."

The move prompted local cops and FBI, hazardous materials teams and SWAT teams to surround the America's Best Value Inn at about 4 p.m., WPTV reported.

Guests waited outside for hours until officers cut power to the motel, which apparently spooked the men into giving up.

The two terror suspects -- who didn't have any poison on them after all -- were collared, decontaminated and charged with a hoax involving a weapon of mass destruction.

Ricin, which is harvested from a crushed up castor bean plant, can kill an adult in extremely small doses. Worse, it can be turned into a lethal gas and inhaled. Victims usually die within five days, and there is no known antidote for ricin poisoning.

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