Trump ricin letter: Woman suspected of sending deadly poison to president arrested while trying to enter US with gun

The female suspect was arrested by Customs and Border Protection agents while she was attempting to cross the Canadian border


                            Trump ricin letter: Woman suspected of sending deadly poison to president arrested while trying to enter US with gun
(Getty Images)

A woman in possession of a gun was taken into custody on Sunday, September 20, for allegedly sending a letter containing deadly poison ricin to President Donald Trump, reports state. The letter, which was in a package, was addressed to the White House. The female suspect, who has not yet been identified, was arrested by Customs and Border Protection agents while she was attempting to enter the US from Canada at a border crossing in New York state, according to a law enforcement official.

The suspect was allegedly armed with a gun when she was detained by officers, CNN reported. An official told the outlet that charges are expected to be brought against her over the poison package by prosecutors in Washington DC. Authorities have not revealed any more details about the woman yet. 

The arrest came within hours after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), on Saturday, September 19, revealed that a suspicious letter, which was addressed to the president, was intercepted by law enforcement last week. All packages addressed to the White House are reportedly screened at a secure offsite facility before delivery. Reports state that the envelope with ricin inside was caught at the final offsite processing facility where mail is sorted and screened before it is sent to the White House mail room. The mail reportedly raised suspicion and was sent for lab tests, which confirmed the presence of ricin in the packet. The poison is deadly if inhaled. 

The FBI, in its statement, said: "The FBI and our US Secret Service and US Postal Inspection Service partners are investigating a suspicious letter received at a US government mail facility. At this time, there is no known threat to public safety." The FBI also announced its investigation, confirming that it was working with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to nab the suspect, who was believed to be Canadian. Law enforcement sources had told CNN that they believed that the package had been sent from Canada.

"We are aware of the concerning reports of packages containing ricin directed toward US federal government sites," Mary-Liz Power, the chief spokeswoman for Canada's Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair, said in a statement. "Canadian law enforcement is working closely with their US counterparts. As this is an active investigation we cannot comment further."

It was also revealed that the suspect had allegedly sent multiple poison packages, including one to a detention facility and one to a sheriff's office in Texas. Only one of the packages was reportedly directed at a political figure. No details on when the packages were sent or whether they were linked to a terrorist organization have yet been revealed.

Ricin, a highly potent toxin, is derived from castor beans and can prove fatal if inhaled or injected. Inhaling a dose the size of a few grains of salt can prove lethal to adults. However, it is less dangerous when ingested. The particular poison has often been used to target politicians in America, including former President Barack Obama. Actress Shannon Richardson, who appeared on 'The Walking Dead', was convicted in 2014 for sending envelopes containing ricin addressed to President Obama and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Richardson was sentenced to a prison term of 18 years.

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