US Arrests Armed Woman Suspected of Sending Poisoned Letter to Trump


US Customs and Border Protection officers have arrested a woman suspected of attempting to send a poisoned letter to President Trump. 

The arrest took place on Saturday, but US law enforcement released new details on the case on Monday. 

Border officers arrested the suspect, who was carrying a gun, as she attempted to enter the US from Canada via the Peace Bridge border crossing near Buffalo, New York.  

The FBI believes the woman sent a poisoned letter containing ricin to the White House with the aim of reaching President Trump. 

An offsite government mailing center that screens mail addressed to the White House intercepted the “suspicious” envelope last week. The FBI and its US Secret Service and US Postal Inspection Service partners opened an investigation into the letter’s origins.

Law enforcement carried out two tests on the envelope to determine the presence of ricin, a poison with no vaccine or antidote.

Investigators had suspected the letter came from Canada, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police joined the FBI investigation.

A source close to the investigation told CNN on Sunday the letter came from St. Hubert, Quebec.

The same woman may have sent similar packages to US federal government sites in Texas. 

Investigations are ongoing while the woman remains in custody. US prosecutors intend to bring federal charges against the suspect, CNN reported. 

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Ricin is a toxic substance extracted from castor beans. It can be used as a powder, pellet, mist, or acid. 

If ingested, ricin can induce nausea, vomiting, and internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines. The liver, spleen, and kidneys then fail. Death occurs when the circulatory system collapses. Only 500 micrograms are needed to kill an adult. 

Ricin is a naturally occurring substance that is easy and inexpensive to produce. It has been used in terror plots and anti-administration conspiracies in the past. 

In 2018, the US arrested a Navy veteran from Utah, William Clyde Allen III, who confessed to sending envelopes containing castor powder to Trump and members of his administration. Although ricin is derived from castor powder, the substance the veteran sent was not dangerous. 

The veteran sent envelopes containing the suspicious substance to the White House, and campaign offices for Texas Senator Ted Cruz. He sent packages to the Pentagon addressed to then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson.

Allen was charged with five counts including threatening to use a biological toxin. 

William Clyde Allen III was arrested in October 2018.

Former President Barack Obama also received ricin-laced letters during his presidency. In 2013, actor Shannon Guess Richardson received an 18-year sentence for sending the letters to the president and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 

Richardson, who appeared in “The Walking Dead,” tried to frame her husband for the crimes.

Shannon Guess Richardson was arrested in May 2013.