Man gets probation in ricin case

SALT LAKE CITY — A video artist was sentenced to two years’ probation Wednesday for lying to authorities about his cousin’s production of the deadly biological toxin ricin.

Thomas Tholen, 54, also was fined $500 in the case.

Tholen’s cousin, Roger Bergendorff, 57, pleaded guilty Aug. 4 in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas to possessing a biological toxin and is expected to be sentenced Nov. 3 to three years and a month in prison. Bergendorff has offered no explanation about why he made the deadly substance.

Bergendorff lived at Tholen’s house in the Salt Lake City suburb of Riverton in 2005-06.

Tholen, who creates characters for video games, admitted that he lied when he told authorities Bergendorff never mentioned ricin.

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