Woman arrested in White House ricin case will make first court appearance today

The woman suspected of sending ricin-laced envelopes to the White House and several officials in Texas from Canada is set to make her first court appearance later this afternoon.

Pascale Ferrier, identified in U.S. court records provided to CBC News, was arrested over the weekend at the Peace Bridge border crossing between Fort Erie, Ont., and New York state.

The RCMP, which has been assisting the FBI in its investigation, said they believe the White House letter originated in Canada.

As part of its investigation, Mounties, including a team of officers with expertise in handling chemicals and explosives, searched a condominium in Saint-Hubert on Montreal’s South Shore on Monday.

Cpl. Charles Poirier, spokesperson for the Quebec division of the RCMP, told reporters there is a link between the residence and the woman suspected of sending the letters, but couldn’t confirm whether she lived at the residence.

The letter mailed to U.S. President Donald Trump was intercepted at a U.S. government facility that screens mail addressed to the president and a preliminary investigation indicated that it tested positive for ricin, according to law enforcement officials who spoke to The Associated Press.

Ricin is found naturally in castor beans but it can be turned into a fatal — and effective —  poison. Exposure to an amount as small as a pinhead can be deadly.

Ferrier was born in France but had been living in Canada since 2008 and gained citizenship, according to court documents.

A search of social media shows Ferrier was recently critical of Trump.

Last year she was living in Texas and was arrested in the city of Mission in March 2019 for illegally carrying a firearm as well as holding a fake driver’s licence, court records show.

She pleaded not guilty, and the charge was eventually dismissed because it was her first offence. She spent 20 days in jail.

Watch | Police search condo linked to Canadian arrested for allegedly sending ricin to White House

Police in Quebec searched a condo in Longueuil, near Montreal, in connection with a Canadian woman arrested at the Canada-U.S. border suspected of sending an envelope containing ricin to U.S. President Donald Trump. Court records show the woman spent time in a Texas jail for using a fake driver’s licence. 1:50

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