Woman Suspected of Sending Ricin-Filled Envelope to White House to Appear in Court | World News

(Reuters) – A woman arrested by U.S. authorities on suspicion of sending a ricin-filled envelope to the White House and to five other addresses in Texas will appear before a federal court in Buffalo, New York, later on Tuesday.

U.S. authorities arrested a woman on the Canada-U.S. border on Sunday, at the so-called Peace Bridge that runs between Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo.

She is due to make her initial appearance at U.S. District Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder Jr. at 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT). She has yet not been officially identified.

The envelope was intercepted at a government mail center before it arrived at the White House, Canadian police said on Saturday.

Canadian police on Monday searched an apartment in a Montreal suburb linked to the woman. She has joint Canadian and French citizenship, two sources said.

The woman is suspected of sending a total of six letters, with the other five addressed to law enforcement and detention facilities in South Texas, according to a U.S. law enforcement source.

So far no links to political or terrorist groups have been found, but the investigation is ongoing, the source said.

The police department in Mission, Texas, received a suspicious letter within the last week, Art Flores, a spokesman for the department, said on Monday. The department did not open the envelope and turned it over to the FBI, he said.

Flores also said the Mission police had arrested the woman now believed to be held in Buffalo in early 2019.

Ricin is found naturally in castor beans but it takes a deliberate act to convert it into a biological weapon. Ricin can cause death within 36 to 72 hours from exposure to an amount as small as a pinhead. No known antidote exists.

(Reporting by Christinne Muschi in Longueuil, Steve Scherer in Ottawa and Mark Hosenball in Washington, additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa, writing by Steve Scherer; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Woman arrested for allegedly sending envelope containing ricin to White House

A woman suspected of sending an envelope containing the poison ricin, which was addressed to the White House, has been arrested at the New York-Canada border. The woman is also suspected of sending similar poisoned envelopes to law enforcement agencies in Texas, officials said Monday.

The letter had been intercepted earlier this week before it reached the White House. The woman was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Peace Bridge border crossing near Buffalo and is expected to face federal charges, three law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.

CBS News has also learned that the woman was carrying a gun when she was arrested.

Her name was not immediately released, but the woman was expected to appear in federal court in Buffalo on Tuesday. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Buffalo said the hearing, scheduled for 4pm Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr., will occur in person, not virtually.

Police officers block a street leading to a condo building in Longueil
Police officers block a street leading to a condo building related to an investigation into the ricin-filled envelope sent to the White House, as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives team checks the area in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada September 21, 2020.

CHRISTINNE MUSCHI / REUTERS


The letter addressed to the White House appeared to have originated in Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have said. It was intercepted at a government facility that screens mail addressed to the White House and President Donald Trump and a preliminary investigation indicated it tested positive for ricin, according to the officials. The RCMP would not confirm if the suspect is an Canadian or American national. 

“Our Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives team (CBRNE) is leading the operation,” the RCMP said.

Envelopes containing ricin were also mailed to law enforcement agencies in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, according to another law enforcement official. The official did not say which agencies were sent the envelopes but said they are believed to have been mailed by the same person who sent one to the White House.

The officials were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

One of the envelopes was sent to the police in Mission, Texas, said Investigator Art Flores, a spokesman for the border community’s police department. He said no one was hurt and that the envelope was in law enforcement’s custody. He declined to comment further.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Quebec confirmed Monday there is a police investigation taking place on a street in St-Hubert, Quebec, related to the contaminated letter sent to the White House.

The home is connected to the woman who was arrested at the border and although authorities have yet to determine whether she

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Suspect who allegedly sent envelope containing ricin to White House arrested

Washington — A person suspected of sending an envelope addressed to White House that contained the poison ricin has been arrested, the FBI said Sunday. CBS News has learned the suspect, a woman, was apprehended at the New York-Canada border and is believed to have been trying to enter the U.S.

CBS News has also learned that the woman was carrying a gun.

Her name wasn’t released.

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and Royal Canadian Mounted Police had no comment.

The letter appeared to have originated in Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have said. It was intercepted at a government facility that screens mail addressed to the White House and President Trump and a preliminary investigation indicated it tested positive for ricin, officials said.

There have been several prior instances in which U.S. officials have been targeted with ricin sent through the mail.

A Navy veteran was arrested in 2018 and confessed to sending envelopes to Mr. Trump and members of his administration that contained the substance from which ricin is derived. The letters were intercepted, and no one was hurt.

In 2014, a Mississippi man was sentenced to 25 years in prison after sending letters dusted with ricin to President Obama and other officials.

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Arrest Over Ricin Envelope Addressed To White House

US authorities confirmed an arrest Sunday over an envelope addressed to President Donald Trump that contained a substance identified as the poison ricin.

The suspect was a woman who was carrying a gun when she was arrested by authorities, according to US media reports.

“I can confirm that an arrest was made at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, New York,” Customs and Border Protection supervisory officer Aaron Bowker told AFP, referring to the bridge that connects Canada and the US state of New York.

US media reported Saturday that authorities had intercepted an envelope laced with ricin addressed to Trump.

The letter was discovered earlier last week and did not reach the White House, according to The New York Times and CNN.

Mail addressed to the White House is first inspected and sorted in depots just outside Washington Mail addressed to the White House is first inspected and sorted in depots just outside Washington Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski

The Times said it was believed that the letter was mailed from Canada.

Mail addressed to the White House is first inspected and sorted in depots just outside Washington.

CNN said the contents of the envelope were tested repeatedly at one depot and confirmed to contain ricin.

Ricin, which is produced by processing castor beans, is lethal even in minute doses if swallowed, inhaled or injected, causing organ failure.

A government official who was not authorized to speak on the matter told AFP that a court appearance was scheduled for Monday.

Copyright AFP. All rights reserved.

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AP source: Envelope addressed to White House contained ricin

Federal officials have intercepted an envelope addressed to the White House that contained the poison ricin

WASHINGTON — Federal officials intercepted an envelope addressed to the White House that contained the poison ricin, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Saturday.

The official was not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Federal investigators were working to determine where the enveloped originated and who mailed it. The FBI, the Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service were leading the investigation.

In a statement, the FBI said agents were working to investigate “a suspicious letter received at a U.S. government mail facility” and that there is “no known threat to public safety.”

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

Authorities said the man, William Clyde Allen III, sent the envelopes with ground castor beans to the president, FBI Director Christopher Wray, along with then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, then-CIA Director Gina Haspel, Adm. John Richardson, who at the time was the Navy’s top officer, and then-Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. The letters were intercepted, and no one was hurt.

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Envelope containing ricin was sent to White House, report says | Washington DC

An envelope containing the poison ricin was sent to the White House, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

The newspaper said law enforcement believed the envelope, which was intercepted before reaching the White House mail room, was sent from Canada.

Ricin is a waste product in the making of oil from castor beans. According to guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it “works by getting inside the cells of a person’s body and preventing the cells from making the proteins they need. Without the proteins, cells die. Eventually this is harmful to the whole body, and death may occur.”

Death from ricin poisoning, the CDC says, can “take place within 36 to 72 hours of exposure”, depending on dosage and whether the poison is inhaled, ingested or injected.

“It would take a deliberate act to make ricin and use it to poison people,” the CDC says.

The Times reported that investigators were working to find out if other envelopes containing ricin had been sent through the US mail.

The White House did not immediately comment.

Ricin has been sent to the White House before.

In 2018, a US navy veteran was arrested and charged with attempting to send ricin to officials including Donald Trump; the then defense secretary, James Mattis; the CIA director, Gina Haspel; and the FBI director, Christopher Wray.

In 2014, a Mississippi man was given a 25-year sentence for sending letters dusted with the poison to Barack Obama and other officials.

The same year, an actor was sentenced for 18 years for sending similar letters to Obama and Michael Bloomberg in a bizarre attempt to frame her own husband. The Guardian said the case was like “the plot of a cheap, pulp thriller – except perhaps not quite as believable”.

Ricin also featured in a famous case which could have come from a spy novel: the assassination in London in 1978 of Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissident who was pricked with a poison-tipped umbrella.

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AP reports: Envelope addressed to Trump, White House contained ricin

WASHINGTON — Federal officials intercepted an envelope addressed to the White House that contained the poison ricin, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Saturday.

The letter was intercepted at a government facility that screens mail addressed to the White House and President Donald Trump, the official said. A preliminary investigation indicated it tested positive for ricin, a poison found naturally in castor beans, the official said.

The official was not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Federal investigators were working to determine where the envelope originated and who mailed it. The FBI, the Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service were leading the investigation.

In a statement, the FBI said agents were working to investigate “a suspicious letter received at a U.S. government mail facility” and that there is “no known threat to public safety.”

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

Authorities said the man, William Clyde Allen III, sent the envelopes with ground castor beans to the president, FBI Director Christopher Wray, along with then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, then-CIA Director Gina Haspel, Adm. John Richardson, who at the time was the Navy’s top officer, and then-Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. The letters were intercepted, and no one was hurt.

In 2014, a Mississippi man was sentenced to 25 years in prison after sending letters dusted with ricin to President Barack Obama and other officials.

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