Yesterday, we learned that the woman accused of sending a letter containing ricin powder to the White House and unnamed prison officials had been arrested at the Canadian border. The FBI is currently in charge of the case, working in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies in both countries and they’re still being very tight-lipped in terms of details. That’s understandable, of course, at least until they’re confident that they know the full scope of the threat and have time to identify any possible accomplices. But some reporters have managed to track down some significant information about the attacker in the meantime, while still not disclosing her name.
ABC News is reporting that the still-unnamed woman is definitely a Canadian citizen, not an American. And this wasn’t her first run-in with the law. She was detained in Texas and deported by the CBP in 2019 after overstaying her visa. This incident appears to provide a connection to the other targets of her attempted poisoning attack aside from the White House.
A Canadian woman who was arrested this weekend on charges of mailing the poison ricin to the White House, had been deported back to Canada from South Texas after overstaying her visa in 2019, according to a report in The New York Times.
And Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra on Monday afternoon said that “envelopes” of ricin were mailed to him and three others in South Texas associated with the case, but resulted in no injuries. Border Report reached out to Guerra but he did not comment and tweeted this is an “active federal investigation.”
Art Flores, an investigator with the Mission Police Department, told Border Report on Monday afternoon that an envelope was mailed to Mission Police Chief Robert Dominguez last week, on Thursday or Friday, “and has been confiscated by the FBI.” Nobody was injured, Flores said.
Now we’re beginning to see what may turn out to be a possible motive for the woman’s attacks. Shortly after her arrest, we were told that the additional ricin letters had been sent to unnamed prison officials. That didn’t make much sense to me at first, but now that some of the officials in question have been identified, the picture becomes a bit clearer. The prison/jail officials who were targeted in Texas were all somehow involved in the woman’s detention and eventual deportation last year.
Sheriff Eddie Guerra of Hidalgo County, Texas was one such recipient, a fact he confirmed on Twitter yesterday.
I can confirm that envelopes, containing the deadly toxin ricin, was mailed to me and three of my detention staff. At this time due to a active federal investigation I cannot make any further comments but a media release will be sent out tomorrow. No injuries were sustained
— Sheriff Eddie Guerra (@SheriffGuerra) September 21, 2020
It doesn’t require much of a stretch of the imagination to conclude that this woman is angry over having been deported so she launched her poison pen attacks on the people who helped turn her over to the CBP and have her booted out of the country. Sure, that’s still pretty crazy, but at least it would qualify as a motive.
But the $64,000 question is how she decided to not just go after the Sheriff’s Department, but also tack the President of the United States onto her distribution list for good measure. If she’d only gone after the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, it’s unlikely that anyone outside of Texas would be hearing much about this story. But as soon as you up your game to include an assassination plot against the leader fo the free world, the plot moves up to the highest level immediately.
This is still purely speculation at this point, but it’s possible that the woman was angry at Donald Trump over… what? His immigration policies? The media loves to talk about how Trump supposedly “hates immigrants” and has been ramping up deportation efforts. It’s not impossible that this woman blames the President for her failure to renew her visa and was seeking revenge over that. But that sounds like a pretty severe escalation of hostilities over something as trivial as being sent back home to Canada. Unfortunately for her, she’s now moved herself into the big league and will probably be looking at some punishment that involves far more than a free bus ride to Toronto.
UPDATE: (Jazz) Just this morning, the suspect in the ricin attack has been identified. CTV News in Canada reports that 53-year-old Pascale Ferrier of Quebec is the woman currently in custody in Buffalo. She’s originally from France but obtained Canadian citizenship in 2015. She lists her occupation as a computer programmer. And it’s been confirmed that she was briefly incarcerated in the Texas jail where she sent the other ricin letters.
Quebec resident Pascale Ferrier has been identified as the suspect alleged to have sent letters containing the poisonous substance ricin to the White House and different locations in Texas, including a police department, CTV News has confirmed.
A team that specializes in biohazards swarmed a Montreal-area condo Monday morning, evacuating several units as they looked for evidence connected to the ricin-laced letter sent to U.S. President Donald Trump.
The letters were intercepted before reaching their destination, and the exact number is “in flux,” officials say.
A mugshot is worth a thousand words, so here is Ms. Ferrier’s. (Click for full-size image.)
I’m sure we’ll learn more in the coming days, but it still sounds as if she had a beef with everyone she perceived to be involved with her incarceration in Texas on illegal immigration and gun charges.