A Quebec woman was sentenced to 22 years in prison Thursday after sending letters containing ricin to former President Trump in 2020.
Pascale Ferrier, 55, pleaded guilty in January to making ricin in her home and mailing Trump and eight Texas law enforcement officials threatening letters laced with it. The toxin is made from waste material left over from processing castor beans.
She faced a charge of prohibitions with respect to biological weapons in Washington, D.C., and eight counts of the same charge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. She agreed to have the Texas case transferred to Washington for plea and sentencing, according to a Justice Department release.
In the letter to Trump, Ferrier urged the then-president to “[g]ive up and remove [his] application for this election.” After mailing the letters, the dual citizen of Canada and France drove from Canada to a border crossing bridge in Buffalo, N.Y., where border patrol agents arrested her after finding a loaded firearm, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and other weapons in her possession.
Prosecutors previously said she was detained in Texas for about 10 weeks in 2019 and believed law enforcement officials played a role in her time there.
When she pleaded guilty in January, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves said “there is no place for political violence in our country, and no excuse for threatening public officials or endangering our public servants.”
Ferrier’s attorneys agreed with the Justice Department that a sentence of 262 months in prison, just short of 22 years, is appropriate, according to sentencing memos filed in May. The sentence was agreed upon in January as part of her plea deal, but it was formalized by a judge Thursday.