Merck Chemist Accused of Stealing Potassium Cyanide

A Warrington Township, Bucks County man, who was employed at Merck as a senior analytical chemist, faces charges after being accused of stealing potassium cyanide from the Merck facility in Upper Gwynedd Township.

60 year old, Richard O’Rourke, according to information from the Montgomery County D.A.’s office, was seen by another chemist pouring the dangerous substance into a beaker on December 14th. A list of police agencies were involved in the investigation, including, Upper Gwynedd Township Police, Warrington Township Police, F.B.I., the Bucks County D.A.’s office and Montgomery County D.A.’s office. O’Rourke, who was released on 35,000 bail, allegedly dumped the potassium cyanide in an inlet in the area of county line road, between Easton Road and Second Street Pike. O’Rourke told authorities that he took the potassium cyanide to poison rodents on his property, but he dumped the substance when he discovered an investigation was underway at Merck. State, private and Philadelphia water officials tested the water and did not find any traces of the dangerous poison in the water. O’Rourke faces a March 6th preliminary hearing.