Foreign National Pleads Guilty to Mailing Ricin to President of the United States in 2020 | USAO-DC

Defendant also sent threatening letters to Ricin to law enforcement officials in Texas

Pascale Cecile Veronique Ferrier, a 55-year-old dual citizen of Canada and France, pleaded guilty today to sending threatening letters containing homemade ricin (a toxin) in September 2020 to then-President Donald Trump at the White House and eight Texas residents. State law enforcement authorities.

The suit was announced by Matthew M. Graves, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Alamdar S. Hamdani, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division, Assistant Director-in-Charge, FBI. David Sundberg of the Washington office and Special Agent in Charge Oliver E. Rich, Jr. of the FBI’s San Antonio office.

According to court documents, Ferrier admitted that she made ricin in September 2020 at her residence in Quebec, Canada. Ricin toxin is a deadly poison derived from waste left over from the processing of castor beans. Ferrier placed ricin in envelopes containing letters she wrote to then-President Trump at the White House and eight law enforcement officials in the state of Texas.

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“There is no place in our country for political violence and no justification for threatening public officials or our public employees,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves for the District of Columbia. “We hope this resolution serves as a warning that using our postal system to send toxic substances and other such threats will cost you your freedom for years to come.”

“This woman was unsuccessful in her efforts to poison many public officials in our district, but her actions still caused fear and stress to many of these dedicated public servants,” said U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani. “We are grateful for the hard work of the FBI and our other law enforcement partners in identifying and apprehending her.”

“In addition to her intended goals, Pascale Ferrier’s reckless actions could have harmed postal workers, first responders or innocent bystanders,” said David Sundberg, the FBI’s Washington, D.C., assistant director in charge. “Today’s plea agreement demonstrates the determination of the FBI and our partners to investigate and prosecute those who seek to harm or intimidate government officials or law enforcement officers.”

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“Threats against public officials and law enforcement agencies are unconscionable and will not be tolerated,” said Special Agent in Charge Oliver E. Rich, Jr. of the FBI’s San Antonio Division. “The FBI remains committed to working with our partner investigative agencies to protect all Americans from threats of violence and harm.”

Ferrier was detained in the state of Texas for about ten weeks in the spring of 2019, and she believed law enforcement was involved in her detention. In early September 2020, Ferrier took to the social media service Twitter to suggest that someone please shoot [T]torso in the face.” The letters contained threatening language in the envelopes, and one addressed to then-President Trump asked him:[g]lift and remove [his] application for this election.” Ferrier sent every threatening letter from Canada to the United States. Ferrier then drove from Canada to the Peace Bridge border crossing in Buffalo, New York on September 20, 2020, where Border Patrol officials found him with a loaded firearm, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and other weapons. he was arrested. Ferrier remains in custody.

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Ferrier pleaded guilty to biological weapons bans in two separate criminal cases heard by the Honorable Dabney L. Friedrich of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. One case was filed in the District of Columbia, and the other was filed in the Southern District of Texas and transferred to the District of Columbia for acquittal and sentencing.

The Honorable Dabney L. Friedrich scheduled sentencing for April 26, 2023, when Ferrier will be sentenced to 262 months in prison if the Court accepts the plea agreement.

The FBI’s Washington office and San Antonio office conducted the investigation. Assistance was provided by the US Secret Service and the US Postal Inspection Service.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Friedman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia; Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rob Jones, David Coronado and David Lindenmuth of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, and Trial Attorney David Smith of the U.S. National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Division.

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