Two Arrested Burglarizing OKC Home Where Ricin Was Found

Wednesday, May 7th 2014, 6:37 pm
By: News 9

Two men are behind bars, accused of breaking into a house where police say ricin was found. They were found inside the home of Preston Rhoads, who is currently in jail, accused of plotting the murder of his pregnant girlfriend with the deadly toxin.

Even though a sign was on the door warning people to stay away, it did not keep those two from breaking in anyway. They were not only arrested, but had to be decontaminated too.

"Anyone who enters that home should be decontaminated," said Capt. Dexter Nelson with the Oklahoma City Police Department.

5/7/2014 Related Story: 2 Arrested For Breaking Into OKC Murder Plot Suspect's Home

Despite the signs, the raid, and all the media attention the home has received the past few weeks, police caught Ramon Stephens and Kevin Phillips red handed early Monday morning. They are accused of trying to steal eight plastic water bottles and a surround sound system from inside the home.

Police got a tip from a neighbor who says she saw the two entering the house.

"I would definitely never go in there," said Robert Carter, who lives just down the street from Preston Rhoad's home.

Carter can't believe anyone would want to go inside, especially since police confirm ricin was indeed found on Rhoads, as well as inside his home.

"I don't know if the guys who broke in thought maybe they could steal something out of there - since he'd been arrested," said Carter. "But nobody in this neighborhood was going to go near it."

4/23/2014 Related Story: OKC Murder Plot Suspect Got Ricin Idea From Popular TV Show

Now there are bright yellow signs and police tape on every single window of the home - warning people about the hazardous waste found inside. Police hope that it will keep others away, especially since their officers and cars have to be decontaminated every time they go inside.

In this case, the responding officers did not even know about the signs until they had entered the home.

"Once they got outside and noticed the signs on the home, they immediately contacted the FBI and the Fire Department Hazardous Materials team on what to do."

Police tell News 9 they are also aware that some of Rhoads own family members have entered this home, despite the posting of these signs. They say those family members were contacted and told how to decontaminate themselves. And in this case all they needed to do was wash themselves head to toe with soap and water.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office was made aware of the situation, as was the jail staff. And when the two inmates were brought to the Oklahoma County Detention Center, steps were taken to immediately decontaminate, and isolate the two inmates.

"The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office has strict guidelines and procedures for dealing with any possible bio-hazard threat at the jail," said Mark Myers in a statement released by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office.

"The inmates were both cleared by medical staff, and we do not believe there was any threat to anyone at our facility."

Police say usually a biohazard company trained in "dangerous materials" will clean out contaminated homes. But they say because of ricin being found in this home, a military team will have to be used.

4/19/2014 Related Story: Test Results Confirm Ricin Found In Murder-For-Hire Suspect's Home