A woman who mailed an envelope last with ricin to the White House, addressed to President Donald Trump, is an illegal immigrant from Canada, according to new reports released Tuesday, who may have mailed the poison letters as revenge for being targeted by Texas immigration officials back in March of 2019.
The New York Post names the suspect as 53-year-old Pascale Ferrier of Quebec, who was detained last year in Texas after authorities discovered she’d been using a fake driver’s license and had overstayed her visa. She pleaded not guilty to charges that she broke immigration law and the charges were eventually dismissed because it was her “first offense,” according to the CBC. She spent just 20 days in jail before being released.
A report in the New York Times indicates that Ferrier was eventually deported back to Canada.
Ferrier’s most high profile target in the alleged attack was President Donald Trump, but authorities say she also sent ricin-laced envelopes to a number of immigration officials in Hidalgo, Texas, where she was detained in 2019 for the immigration violation, leading authorities to believe, at this point, that the attacks may be retribution for Ferrier’s run-in with immigration officials.
“Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra on Monday afternoon said that ‘envelopes’ of ricin were mailed to him and three others in South Texas associated with the case, but resulted in no injuries. Border Report reached out to Guerra but he did not comment and tweeted this is an ‘active federal investigation,'” ABC News reported late Monday.
“Art Flores, an investigator with the Mission Police Department, told Border Report on Monday afternoon that an envelope was mailed to Mission Police Chief Robert Dominguez last week, on Thursday or Friday,” the outlet added.
No one was hurt in either incident and all envelopes have since been turned over to the FBI. Canadian law enforcement officials say that they believe there may be other envelopes out there, some still on their way to intended victims, and that the exact number of attacks is “in flux.”
“The RCMP is assisting the FBI in this investigation,” an official with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told reporters. “We believe a total of six letters were sent — one to the White House and five to Texas.”
Ferrier was arrested by Customs and Border Patrol at a border checkpoint near Buffalo, New York, over the weekend though it’s not clear how authorities were able to identify her so quickly.
The RCMP did, however, send a “team that specializes in biohazards” to “a Montreal-area condo Monday morning, evacuating several units as they looked for evidence connected to the ricin-laced letter sent to U.S. President Donald Trump.”
Ferrier will shortly be booked on federal charges: “She was supposed to appear in court Monday, but her appearance was delayed until Tuesday afternoon, according to a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office,” the New York Post reports.