A female suspect has been taken into custody for allegedly sending a letter containing the deadly poison ricin to Donald Trump in a package addressed to the White House.
The unidentified woman was arrested by Customs and Border Protection agents trying to enter the US from Canada at a border crossing in New York state, a law enforcement official told CNN Sunday.
She was allegedly armed with a gun when she was detained by officers.
Prosecutors in Washington DC are expected to bring charges against her over the poison packages, the official said.
No further details about the suspect have been revealed at this time.
A suspect has been taken into custody for allegedly sending a letter containing the deadly poison ricin to Donald Trump in a package addressed to the White House
The suspicious letter addressed to the president was intercepted by law enforcement earlier this week, the FBI revealed Saturday.
All packages addressed to the White House are sorted and screened at a secure offsite facility prior to delivery.
The envelope to the White House was caught at the final offsite processing facility where mail is screened before being sent to the White House mail room.
Lab tests confirmed the presence of ricin – which is deadly if inhaled – in the letter and an FBI investigation was launched to locate the sender.
‘The F.B.I. 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,’ the FBI said in a statement Saturday.
‘At this time, there is no known threat to public safety.’
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed it was working with the FBI on the investigation.
All packages addressed to the White House are sorted and screened at a secure offsite facility prior to delivery
Law enforcement sources Saturday said they believed the package had been sent from Canada and that they were seeking a female Canadian suspect.
The suspect also allegedly sent other poison packages to a detention facility and a sheriff’s office in Texas.
Only one package was said to be aimed at a political figure.
It is not clear when any of the packages were sent or who the recipients of the other packages were.
There is no indication yet that the poison packages are linked to any international terrorist organizations.
Ricin is a highly potent toxin derived from castor beans, and is extremely lethal if inhaled or injected, but less so if ingested.
Inhaling a dose the size of a few grains of salt can be lethal to adults.
Deadly ricin has previously been used to target American politicians through the mail.
Ricin is a highly potent toxin derived from castor beans, and is extremely lethal if inhaled or injected, but less so if ingested. Inhaling a dose the size of a few grains of salt can be lethal to adults
In 2014, actress Shannon Richardson, who appeared on The Walking Dead, was convicted of sending envelopes containing ricin addressed to then President Barack Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
She was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Ricin was also featured in a multi-season plot arc in the television series Breaking Bad, which inspired several real-life criminal schemes involving the poison.
In 2014, Georgetown University student Daniel Milzman pleaded guilty to a federal charge after a bag of ricin was found in his dorm room.
Prosecutors say he had planned to use it on another student he had formerly been in a relationship with. He was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison.