Missouri chemist found guilty of possessing cyanide

A 60-year-old suburban Kansas City chemist has been found guilty in federal court of illegally possessing potassium cyanide.

Hessam Ghane of Independence is a naturalized citizen from Iran who taught chemistry at Maple Woods Community College in 1996 and 1997. Prosecutors say Ghane possessed 177 grams of cyanide and intended to use it to either commit suicide or harm federal workers.

A jury on Wednesday deliberated about two hours before returning the guilty verdict.

Independence police officers found the cyanide under Ghane’s kitchen sink while executing a search warrant at his apartment in February 2003. Prosecutors say Ghane told an emergency room physician about the chemical when he was taken to an Overland Park, Kan., hospital after calling a suicide hot line a day before the search.

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