Authorities have arrested a woman suspected of sending a letter containing the poison ricin to U.S. President Donald Trump.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency told VICE News the woman was arrested attempting to enter the United States at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, New York. Officials have yet to name the woman and federal charges are expected to be laid.
CNN reports that the letter, addressed to Trump and the White House, was sent from St. Hubert, Quebec. It contained ricin, an extremely deadly poison. According to the Associated Press, American officials intercepted the letter at a screening facility.
Police in Quebec have sent in a specialized team which includes chemical and biological weapons experts to investigate on Monday.
“Our Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives team (CBRNE) is leading the operation,” Quebec RCMP tweeted. “Police and Fire teams from Longueuil are also on site. All necessary measures have been taken to ensure public safety.”
An unnamed U.S. law enforcement official told CNN that the woman had a gun on her at the time of her arrest. The official told CNN that authorities are investigating if the woman may have sent similar letters to Texas addresses. VICE News has not independently verified those claims.
Reports state that the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the FBI, the Secret Service and the RCMP are working together on this case. VICE News has requested comment from the RCMP and the FBI but has yet to hear back.
“The RCMP can confirm that it has received a request for assistance from the FBI in connection with a suspicious letter sent to the White House,” spokesperson Dan Brien told the Canadian Press.”Initial information from the investigation suggests that the letter originated in Canada.”
Ricin is the by-product created when processing castor beans. If inhaled, ricin can cause a victim to suffer from severe respiratory problems and if ingested internal bleeding and organ failure. It can kill the victim in up to four to five days after initial exposure. The Mayo Clinic says “even a small amount of ricin may be fatal.”
This isn’t the first time that a U.S. president was the target of an attempted ricin attack. In April of 2013, letters containing ricin were sent to then-president Barack Obama, a Republican senator, and a Mississippi judge. In 2018, letters containing trace amounts of ricin were sent to Trump and other Republican politicians.
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Via Vice News