Police investigators outside an apartment building related to an investigation into the castor bean letter sent to the White House, as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) team of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear explosives surveys the area in Longueuil, Quebec (Canada) on September 21, 2020. (Sources: REUTERS / Christinne Muschi)
Canadian police raided an apartment in a Montreal suburb on Monday linked to Pascale Ferrier, the woman arrested for sending a ricin-poisoned letter to White House occupant Donald Trump and five other addresses in Texas, federal police said. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
US authorities arrested a woman at the US-Canada border near Buffalo, New York, on Sunday on suspicion that she mailed the deadly poison to Donald Trump. The woman has both Canadian and French citizenship, two sources said Monday.RELATED
She will appear Tuesday in Buffalo before Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr., reported a spokesman for the Federal Court in the Western District of New York.
“We believe a total of six letters were sent, one to the White House and five to Texas,” RCMP Officer Charles Poirier said outside a modern brown and gray building where the search was taking place. “We can’t confirm if she lived in (the apartment), but he’s connected to her.”
Poirier did not report where in Texas the envelopes were sent, but the Mission, Texas Police Department received a suspicious letter in the past week, said Art Flores, a department spokesman. Local police did not open the envelope and turned it over to the FBI, the source said.
Flores also said Mission police had arrested the woman now believed to be detained in Buffalo in early 2019, but said they had no records related to the arrest and referred subsequent investigations to the FBI.
The FBI is investigating several letters suspected of containing castor bean sent to law enforcement and detention centers in South Texas, a US law enforcement source told Reuters.
So far no link to political or terrorist groups has been found, but the investigation is ongoing, the source said.
The RCMP Chemistry, Biology, Radiology, Nuclear and Explosives special team is leading the operation, the RCMP said.
On Saturday, the RCMP confirmed that the White House letter had apparently been sent from Canada and said the FBI had requested assistance. The envelope was intercepted at a government mail center before reaching the White House.
Castor is naturally found in castor beans, but it takes a process to turn it into a bioweapon. Exposure to as small an amount of castor, as the head of a pin, can cause death in 36 to 72 hours. There is no known antidote.
In 2014, a Mississippi man was sentenced to 25 years in prison after sending castor bean letters to then-President Barack Obama and other officials.
In 2013, a woman was accused of sending castor oil letters to Obama and Michael Bloomberg, who was the mayor of New York City. The woman was sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty.
Sources: CBC / P. Ling / Reuters / Canadian Press / RCI