FBI: Former Congressional candidate tried to buy lethal dose of radioactive material

Published: Oct. 24, 2018 at 6:03 PM CDT
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A former Congressional candidate was arrested Wednesday after authorities say he tried to buy a radioactive substance online to kill someone.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 30-year-old Jeremy Ryan was arrested in the 700 block of Mills Street in Black Earth.

According to court documents, Ryan attempted to buy a lethal dose of a radioactive substance online in March and October 2018 to kill an unnamed person.

Following Ryan's arrest, agents searched his home in the 300 block of Munn Road in the Town of Madison. Agents with the Hazardous Evidence Response Teams (HERT) from the Milwaukee and Chicago field offices searched the home Wednesday night.

People living in the area describe the neighborhood as a tight-knit community. According to Shawn Dobbins who lives near Munn Road, he came home from work around 5:00 p.m. Wednesday and there was no law enforcement in the area. He said that changed 15 minutes later when he was walking his dog and saw FBI agents get of vehicles and walk towards the home.

"It's just bonkers to think about," said Dobbins. "There's not a whole lot of action that goes on here."

Cheryl Cummings also lives nearby. She has been living in the neighborhood since 1993.

"“I’m in shock this is such a quiet neighborhood," said Cummings. "Times are changing and everyone has to pay attention to their surroundings.”

According to an FBI spokesperson, The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Wisconsin will prosecute the case. Ryan's first court appearance is expected on Thursday.The charge of attempted possession of radioactive material with intent to cause death carries a maximum term of life in prison.

Ryan tried to run as a Republican in 2018 in the First Congressional District to take Rep. Paul Ryan's seat. He lost in the August Primary to Bryan Steil.

Ryan was also active in the ACT 10 protests in 2011. At the time he was known as "Segway Jeremy." He aggressively protested Republican lawmakers inside the Wisconsin Capitol.

According to online court records, in 2016, Ryan pleaded guilty in Dane County Circuit to a maintaining a drug trafficking place charge.