A Quebec woman accused of sending a letter containing deadly ricin to President Donald Trump has been ordered to remain in U.S. custody after she pleaded not guilty in a Buffalo court Monday.
The judge said Pascale Ferrier was clearly capable of causing harm when she tried to cross the Peace Bridge border crossing near Buffalo last week, and is a continuing threat to Trump and others in Texas to whom she sent ricin letters.
“After she was detained, she admitted she had sent ricin to locations in Texas and to the president of the United States,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Lynch said in court.
Ferrier’s lawyer, public defender Fonda Kubiak, asked for her release until trial in Washington. “She voluntarily came to the border, said she was the person they were looking for when there hadn’t even been a warrant issued,” Kubiak said.
However, Ferrier was denied bail. Lynch said that there are no bail conditions that would make it safe to release her as she constitutes a flight risk.
When Ferrier arrived at the border, she was carrying a loaded semi-automatic handgun, a backpack loaded with 294 rounds of ammunition, a stun gun, a collapsible baton, pepper spray, and a fake Texas driver’s license.
Court heard that a mortar and pestle with ricin residue on them were found in Ferrier’s Quebec apartment.
“It appears that the defendant was following up on her threat to the president, that she would come into the United States with her gun,” Lynch said.
“It is clear that this defendant has the desire to kill the president of the United States and individuals she feels somehow wronged her in Texas when she was arrested [there] in March 2019.”
Ferrier has dual citizenship in Canada and France. She immigrated to Canada from France in November of 2015. In October of 2018, Ferrier headed south to Texas.
The attempt to poison officers in Texas was allegedly in response to her arrest and detainment in Texas on March 12, 2019, for firearms-related charges. She mailed at least five letters laced with ricin to officers connected to her jail time in Texas.
After she was released in May she returned to Canada.
On Sept. 18, the U.S. Secret Service discovered the suspicious envelope addressed to Donald J. Trump and found inside it some white powder and a letter containing threats.
“So I made a ‘Special Gift,’” the letter allegedly said. “This gift is in this letter. If it doesn’t work, I’ll find better recipe for another poison, or I might use my gun.”
Police were already investigating the letter when Ferrier showed up at the border on Sept. 20 and told U.S. border guards that she was wanted by the FBI for the ricin letters.