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A man who has allegedly threatened to poison the Salem, Mass. water supply is behind bars Friday morning and investigators believe the threat was serious.
Boston's NewsCenter 5's Gail Huff reported that Scott Duke Fuller, 32, is being held on $250,000 bail for allegedly threatening to dump mercury in Wenham Lake.
Fuller claimed to have liquid mercury in a Florida storage facility and said he was going to transport it from Florida back to New England to use it to contaminate Wenham Lake, which provides local water to surrounding communities.
His claim led Florida police to search a storage unit in Marion County, Fla., where they did find approximately eight pounds of what they believe may be liquid mercury. Hazmat crews confiscated it and will test it on Friday.
"That he was intending or made a statement that he was going to put it into the Wenham Lake. I can't say why Wenham Lake came up. That was what we had as information, so we went ahead with it," said Det. Michael Andreas of the Salem Police department.
Wenham Lake supplies drinking water to 100,000 residents in Wenham, Salem, and Beverly, Mass.
According to researchers at Purdue University, the amount of mercury found in one thermometer would be enough to pollute a small lake. The liquid chemical was stored in the Silver Springs facility for more than a year and Fuller reportedly said he'd gotten it from his father, who apparently lives in Florida.
When police searched Fuller's Salem home Thursday night they found a handgun and ammunition.
He'd been working for a painting and lead detection service in Salem when his employer and landlord, Oscar Begin, sought a restraining order after Fuller made several threats. That's apparently what led police to search the home and the Florida storage facility.
Fuller was arraigned Thursday in Salem District court for violating a restraining order on a separate charge.