Woman pleads guilty to sending ricin to Trump in 2020

WASHINGTON (HPD) — A Canadian woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to sending a threatening letter laced with ricin poison to then-President Donald Trump at the White House.

Pascale Ferrier’s letter demanding Trump “drop out of running in this election” was intercepted at a mail delivery center in September 2020, before it could reach the White House.

The 55-year-old woman from Quebec also pleaded guilty to sending similar letters to law enforcement agencies in Texas. Predictably, she will be sentenced to 262 months in prison, just under 22 years in jail, according to an agreement reached with the prosecution. The sentencing hearing is set for April.

“There is no place for political violence in our country, and there is no excuse for threatening public officials or endangering public employees,” US Attorney Matthew Graves said in a statement.

Prosecutors allege that Ferrier manufactured ricin, a potentially deadly poison made by processing the seeds of the castor plant, and sent it to Trump along with a letter calling him an “ugly clown tyrant” and saying: “If this doesn’t work, I’ll find the recipe for another poison or maybe I’ll grab my gun when I can get there. Enjoy it! I AM A FREE REBEL SPIRIT”.

She was arrested trying to enter a border crossing in Buffalo, New York, with a gun, a knife and hundreds of bullets, authorities said. Her lawyers did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

The investigation also turned up eight letters sent to officials in Texas affiliated with facilities where Ferrier was imprisoned in 2019. The letters caused “fear and stress,” although no one was poisoned, said Alamdar Hamdani, US attorney for the Southern District of Texas.

Ferrier pleaded guilty to violating biological weapons regulations in two separate criminal cases in Washington and Texas.

Ferrier immigrated from France to Canada and has citizenship in both of those countries.

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