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Woman suspected of sending poisoned letter to Trump arrested

A woman suspected of sending...

Posted: Sep 20, 2020 5:10 PM
Updated: Sep 21, 2020 2:15 AM

A woman suspected of sending a letter containing the poison ricin to President Donald Trump was arrested as she tried to enter the US from Canada at a border crossing in New York state, a US law enforcement official said.

The woman was carrying a gun and arrested by US authorities, according to the law enforcement official.

US prosecutors in Washington, DC, are expected to bring charges against her.

CNN previously reported that law enforcement had intercepted a ricin package sent to Trump last week, according to two law enforcement officials, and that investigators were looking into the possibility that it came from Canada.

A person familiar with the investigation told CNN's Josh Campbell the letter was mailed from St. Hubert, Quebec, and contained a granular substance with similar physical characteristics to ground castor beans.

Two tests had been done to confirm the presence of ricin. All mail for the White House is sorted and screened at an offsite facility before reaching the White House.

A spokesperson for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which confirmed Saturday that it was working with the FBI to investigate the matter, told CNN Sunday that 'the RCMP is still not in a position to issue a statement, or to confirm/deny any reports on arrests.'

A spokeswoman from the FBI Washington Field Office confirmed later Sunday that an arrest was made and that the investigation remains ongoing.

In a statement provided to CNN on Saturday, the FBI's Washington field office said that 'the FBI and our U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service partners are investigating a suspicious letter received at a U.S. government mail facility. At this time, there is no known threat to public safety.'

Authorities are investigating additional similar packages mailed to addresses in Texas that may be connected to the same sender in Canada, CNN previously reported, according to a US law enforcement official.

'We are aware of the concerning reports of packages containing ricin directed toward US federal government sites,' Mary-Liz Power, chief spokeswoman for Canada's Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair, told CNN on Saturday.

'Canadian law enforcement is working closely with their US counterparts. As this is an active investigation we cannot comment further,' she had said.

Ricin is a highly toxic compound extracted from castor beans that has been used in terror plots. It can be used in powder, pellet, mist or acid form. If ingested, it causes nausea, vomiting and internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines, followed by failure of the liver, spleen and kidneys, and death by collapse of the circulatory system.

As little as 500 micrograms -- an amount the size of the head of a pin -- can kill an adult. There is no specific test for exposure and no antidote once exposed.

Ricin can be produced easily and cheaply, but experts say it is more effective on individuals than as a weapon of mass destruction.

This story has been updated with additional reporting Sunday.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 898799

Reported Deaths: 17305
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2968216974
Riverside657571279
San Bernardino617261070
Orange580101440
San Diego53928867
Kern33669416
Fresno30471436
Sacramento25094482
Santa Clara23881388
Alameda23133456
San Joaquin21528488
Contra Costa18413240
Stanislaus17509396
Tulare17425284
Ventura14124162
Imperial12700336
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Monterey1128487
San Mateo11002159
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Kings820183
Solano728674
Marin7045128
Madera498174
San Luis Obispo412132
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Butte304652
Santa Cruz275325
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Shasta183930
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San Benito143215
El Dorado13084
Yuba129310
Mendocino112121
Tehama8528
Lassen7641
Lake67915
Glenn6523
Nevada6038
Humboldt5619
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Mono1762
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Trinity260
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Fire danger will be extreme Sunday-Monday as the biggest dry wind event of the season takes shape. A widespread freeze in the Sierra-Cascades as low as single-digit values possible Sunday night. Mild & sunny weather after Tuesday.
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