Wisconsin man pleads guilty to nuclear material count

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin political activist accused of trying to buy a lethal dose of a radioactive substance online pleaded guilty Friday to one count of receiving a nuclear material.

Jeremy Ryan, 31, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge James Peterson, about 10 days before he was scheduled to stand trial on that count and another terrorism-related charge, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Ryan is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 12. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, but a plea agreement signed last year indicated Ryan would be sentenced to time served.

Ryan, known to many as "Segway Jeremy" because he rode a Segway scooter at state Capitol rallies, has been in jail since October 2018, when he was arrested after picking up a package containing an inert substitute for a radioactive material.

Prosecutors alleged Ryan was looking for the radioactive material so he could kill someone, but his attorneys said he had cancer and intended to use the material to kill himself.

According to a court affidavit, an undercover FBI agent posing as a merchant on the dark web was first contacted by Ryan about the possible purchase of a radioactive substance in March of 2018. The FBI said Ryan indicated his target was a 6-foot-2 male weighing 220 pounds. An individual was not named. Ryan's defense attorneys have said that he fits that description.

Ryan twice unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for House Speaker Paul Ryan's seat.

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