Canadian woman who sent a poison-laced letter to Trump is sentenced to 21 years

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A Canadian national who sent a letter laced with the deadly toxin ricin to former President Donald Trump at the White House was sentenced Thursday to over 21 years in prison.

Pascale Cecile Veronique Ferrier, 56, a dual citizen of Canada and France, pleaded guilty in January to sending the homemade poison-laced letters to Trump and eight Texas law enforcement officials from her home in Quebec in September 2020.

"The hand-written letters mailed from Canada with the ricin toxin each referred to a 'special gift' for the recipient, which was described as being 'in this letter.' Each letter stated that if the special gift doesn’t 'work,' then the defendant would 'find a better recipe for another poison,'” prosecutors said in their pre-sentencing report.

The letter to Trump referred to him as an “ugly tyrant clown” and urged him to drop out of the 2020 election.

Pascale Cecile Veronique Ferrier. (Hidalgo County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office)
Pascale Cecile Veronique Ferrier. (Hidalgo County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office)

“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," the letter said.

The Texas letters targeted law enforcement officials she apparently held responsible for a 2019 arrest there on a weapons charge. Ferrier had been busted for showing officers a fake ID while she had a loaded gun, and the charges were later dropped.

She was arrested again at the Peace Bridge Border Crossing in Buffalo, New York, in September 2020 after she told border officials she was wanted by the FBI for having sent the letters, court filings say. She was "in possession of a loaded firearm, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, two knives, a stun gun, pepper spray, a truncheon, and a false identification document," prosecutors said.

The pre-sentencing filing said Ferrier "appears to suffer from mental health issues. It does not elaborate.

Ferrier told the judge before sentencing that she is a grandmother of four and an "activist," not a terrorist.

"The ricin I made didn’t have a harmful concentration. It was just a strong warning. I did not target innocent people. It was never my attention to harm innocent people, and in fact I did not harm anyone," she said. She added that her "only regret" is that Trump did not heed her warning "and I couldn’t stop Trump before he put in action his plans to try to stay in power."

U.S. District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich sentenced Ferrier to 21.8 years behind bars. Prosecutors said she will be deported after having served her sentence.

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