NEW YORK -- A Chinese man has been sentenced in New York to 16 years in prison for trying to acquire ricin so he could sell "simple and easy death pills."

Cheng Le was sentenced Tuesday in Manhattan federal court. A jury convicted Le in August after a four-day trial of trying to acquire ricin as a weapon, postal fraud and identity theft.

Nathan said Le was convicted of "a horrible, serious and quite terrifying offence."

Le's lawyer urged leniency, saying Le wasn't psychologically mature when he came to the United States to study physics at New York University. The lawyer said he had received offers from several Ivy League schools.

Le said he lives with regrets.

The sentence was within the range suggested by federal sentencing guidelines.