Woman Arrested at US–Canada Border Over Ricin Letter Sent to Trump

September 21, 2020 Updated: September 21, 2020

A Canadian woman suspected of sending an envelope containing the deadly poison ricin to President Donald Trump was arrested while trying to enter the United States.

Mike Niezgoda, public affairs officer at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement that the arrest took place on Sept. 20 at the Peace Bridge border crossing in Buffalo, New York. The woman’s name wasn’t immediately released.

The letter was intercepted before it reached the White House.

Canadian police are conducting an operation near Montreal airport on Sept. 21 in connection with the ricin-contaminated letter, the Quebec section of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) wrote on Twitter.

“Our Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives team (CBRNE) is leading the operation. Police and fire teams from Longueuil are also on site. All necessary measures have been taken to ensure public safety,” the RCPM stated.

Two U.S. officials told The New York Times that the woman was armed with a firearm when she was arrested. A senior intelligence official told the publication that the suspect was living in the United States in 2019 when she was arrested in Texas for possession of an unlicensed weapon, resisting arrest, and carrying a fake driver’s license. The official also said authorities later discovered she had overstayed her visa and she was deported.

“The FBI and our U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service partners are investigating a suspicious letter received at a U.S. government mail facility. At this time, there is no known threat to public safety,” the FBI said in a statement to CNN.

An RCMP spokesperson told Canadian outlet CBC News on Sept. 19 that it was assisting the FBI in the investigation and that “initial information from the investigation suggests that the letter originated in Canada.”

Ricin letter
A letter poisoned with ricin that was sent to President Donald Trump in this undated photo. (CNN)

The incident recalls prior instances in which U.S. officials have been targeted with ricin.

A Navy veteran was arrested in 2018 and confessed to sending envelopes containing the substance from which ricin is derived to Trump and members of his administration.

In 2014, a Mississippi man was sentenced to 25 years in prison after sending letters dusted with ricin to then-President Barack Obama and other officials, while in 2013, a woman sent ricin-laced letters to Obama and then-mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, for which she was sentenced to 18 years in jail.

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