Counter-terrorism agents search home in suburban Chicago, Illinois
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Monday morning, around 11:30 a.m. CDT (UTC-5) a home in Chicago suburb, Lake in the Hills, Illinois, was raided. The FBI Counterterrorism Division conducted the search of the house on the 5700 block of McKenzie Drive, while local police, hazmat team, bomb squad, and fire department were all on the scene.
Edward Bachner—who lives in the house with wife, Rebecca—was arrested earlier in the day in Algonquin, where he purchased a "small quantity" of tetrodotoxin (TTX) from an undercover agent.
The FBI says the sting operation began when Bachner tried to buy 95 milligrams of TTX over the Internet by falsely stating that he was a doctor conducting research. Alarmed at the large quantity, an employee contacted the FBI. In his order for TTX he called himself Edmond Backer of EB Strategic Research, both determined to be fake by the FBI.
Bachner was arraigned in federal court in Rockford and charged with possession of a toxin, a felony that can carry a prison sentence of up to ten years. It remains unclear why Bachner sought to acquire TTX.
Tetrodotoxin is found in nature, most famously in the pufferfish, but also other marine animals, who use it as a defensive weapon. As a toxin, TTX is extremely deadly to humans. Just over one-half of a milligram (0.000018 oz) can kill a person. This makes it more than 1000 times deadlier than cyanide.
- Harry Hitzeman and Charles Keeshan. "FBI arrests LITH man after agents raid home, confiscate deadly toxin" — Daily Herald, July 1, 2008
- "Ill. man arrested for having illegal toxin" — Associated Press, June 30, 2008