Alleged SF bomb maker Ryan Chamberlain to stay in jail; new details in case emerge 

Ryan Kelly Chamberlain II, the San Francisco man who allegedly had explosives materials in his home, and, it has now been revealed, had active lethal toxins as well, will stay in jail for his continued psychological evaluation.

A spate of recent court filings – a denial of Chamberlain’s request for out of jail treatment was among them – included government exhibits detailing the failed attempt by the FBI to trail Chamberlain on the day his apartment was raided as well as a list of items found in his car after he was arrested, including reading material.

Chamberlain, 42, a San Francisco political consultant and social-media expert, has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of having bomb making materials in his home and possessing a gun with its serial numbers removed. He was arrested June 3, several days after his Russian Hill apartment was searched by FBI agents.

Chamberlain’s federal public defender, Jodi Linker, was denied Monday in her request that he should be transferred from jail, where she says he is not being adequately treated, to an outside psychiatric facility.

“There is no basis for concluding that his placement in such a facility (whose security safeguards are unknown and whose power to hold patients against their will is extremely limited) would protect the community from the danger Chamberlain would otherwise pose,” noted United States District Judge Vince Chhabria in denying the request.

Other newly filed court documents shed additional light on the case, especially concerning toxins found in Chamberlain’s apartment, the surveillance team when he escaped and items found in his car when he was finally arrested.

The documents reveal that in addition to finding castor beans in Chamberlain’s apartment, which can be refined to make the toxin ricin, two glass vials containing an unknown substance, hidden in two flashlights, where also discovered.

Testing found that the substance in the vials was active abrin, according to government exhibits filed in the case on July 18.

“The presence of active abrin was detected in” both the vials, according to the exhibit.

The positive abrin test is expected to be included in new charges yet to be filed.

The exhibit also further details the surveillance of Chamberlain after he was allowed to leave the scene when his apartment was raided May 31.

After letting him leave, notes the exhibit, a surveillance team tailed him across The City for about ten to 15 miles. It followed him from his home to the Richmond District, through Golden Gate Park, to the Sunset and Park Merced and finally lost him along Highway 280 near the Geneva exit. The exhibit says the FBI let him go for fear of endangering the public.

After his arrest, authorities found in his car a copy of the June 2 San Francisco Examiner, whose front page displayed a photo of Chamberlain. Its headline read: “Search is on: FBI looking for man after explosives raid.” Also found in the car was a copy of SF Weekly, which included handwritten notes seeming to detail the ups and downs in Chamberlain’s life and was titled “Amount of Life Chart.”

The next status hearing in the case is set for Aug. 11.

About The Author

Jonah Owen Lamb

Jonah Owen Lamb

Bio:
Born and raised on a houseboat in Sausalito, Lamb has written for newspapers in New York City, Utah and the San Joaquin Valley. He was most recently an editor at the San Luis Obispo Tribune for nearly three years. He has written for The S.F. Examiner since 2013 and covers criminal justice and planning.
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