A woman accused of sending letters containing a lethal homemade toxin to former President Donald Trump and eight Texas law enforcement officials in 2020 pleaded guilty on Wednesday, the Department of Justice reported.
Pascale Cecile Veronique Ferrier, a 55-year-old dual citizen of Canada and France, admitted to making ricin at her residence in Quebec, Canada, in September 2020 and placing it in envelopes with letters addressed to Trump at the White House and eight law enforcement officials in Texas.
Ferrier, a computer programmer, was born in France and obtained her Canadian dual citizenship in 2015, according to the BBC.
Jail records revealed that Ferrier was detained in Texas for approximately ten weeks in the spring of 2019 for unlawfully carrying a weapon and using a fake driver's license. After committing a crime and overstaying her visa, Ferrier was deported to Canada. She believed the Texas law enforcement officials addressed in her ricin-laced letters were connected to her detention.
Ferrier posted threatening remarks on Twitter in September 2020, encouraging someone to "please shoot [T]rump in the face."
In the deadly letter addressed to Trump, Ferrier wrote that she had a "special gift" for him and noted, "If it doesn't work, I will find a better recipe for another poison."
"You ruin USA and lead them to disaster. I have US cousins, then I don't want the next 4 years with you as President. Give up and remove your application for this election!" Ferrier wrote to Trump.
CNN reported that in several letters, Ferrier warned she "might use my gun when I will be able to come."
"This woman did not succeed in her efforts to poison numerous public officials in our district, but her actions still created fear and stress for many of these dedicated public servants," said U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
On September 20, 2020, Ferrier was arrested while attempting to cross into the United States from Canada. Border Patrol officials in Buffalo, New York, discovered Ferrier was in possession of a loaded firearm, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and other weapons.
As part of Ferrier's agreement, she pleaded guilty to prohibitions with respect to biological weapons in two separate criminal cases.
Ferrier's sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 26, 2023. If the court accepts the plea agreement, she is expected to be sentenced to more than 21 years in prison.
"There is no place for political violence in our country, and no excuse for threatening public officials or endangering our public servants," said U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew M. Graves. "We hope this resolution will serve as a warning that using our mail system to send a toxic substance and other threats of this type will cost you your freedom for many years."
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