The Defendant also sent Letters Threatening Ricin to Texas Law Enforcement Officers
WASHINGTON – Pascale Cecile Veronique Ferrier, 55, dual citizen of Canada and France, pleaded guilty today to sending threatening letters containing homemade ricin (a poison) in September 2020 to former President Donald J. Trump at the White House and in eight Texas state law enforcement officers.
The plea was announced by US Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew M. Graves, US Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Alamdar S. Hamdani, Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office David Sundberg, and Special Agent in Charge of the San Antonio Field Office of the FBI, Oliver E. Rich, Jr.
According to court documents, Ferrier admitted to manufacturing ricin at his residence in Quebec, Canada, in September 2020. The toxin ricin is a deadly poison made from waste left over from processing castor beans. Ferrier placed the ricin in envelopes containing letters he wrote to then-President Trump at the White House and to eight Texas State law enforcement officials.
“There is no place for political violence in our country, and there is no excuse for threatening public officials or putting our public servants at risk,” said US Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew M. Graves. “We hope this resolution will serve as a warning that the use of our mail system to send toxic substances and other threats of this nature will cost you freedom for years.”
“This woman was unsuccessful in her efforts to poison many public officials in our district, but her actions still created fear and stress for many of these dedicated public servants,” said the US Attorney. Alamdar S. Hamdani. “We are grateful for the hard work of the FBI and our other law enforcement partners in identifying and apprehending him.”
“In addition to her intended targets, Pascale Ferrier’s reckless actions could have harmed postal employees, first responders, or innocent bystanders,” said David Sundberg, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office. . “Today’s plea agreement demonstrates the determination of the FBI and our partners to investigate and bring to justice those who seek to harm or intimidate government officials or law enforcement officials.”
“Threats against public officials and law enforcement are unconscionable and will not be tolerated,” said Special Agent in Charge Oliver E. Rich, Jr., of the FBI San Antonio Division. “The FBI remains committed to working with our investigative partner agencies to protect all Americans from threats of violence and harm.”
Ferrier was incarcerated in the State of Texas for about ten weeks in the spring of 2019, and he believes law enforcement officials are connected to his incarceration period. In early September 2020, Ferrier used the social media service Twitter to suggest that someone should “please shoot [T]butt in the face.” The letters in the envelopes contained threatening language, and the letter addressed to former President Trump ordered him to “[g]ive up and delete [his] application for this election.” Ferrier mailed every threatening ricin letter from Canada to the United States. Ferrier then drove a car from Canada to the Peace Bridge Border Crossing in Buffalo, New York, in September. 20, 2020, where border patrol officers found him with a gun, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and other weapons, and arrested him. Ferrier remains in custody.
Ferrier pleaded guilty to biological weapons prohibitions in two separate criminal cases before the Honorable Dabney L. Friedrich of the US District Court for the District of Columbia. One case was brought in the District of Columbia, and the other was brought in the Southern District of Texas and transferred to the District of Columbia for pleading and sentencing purposes.
The Honorable Dabney L. Friedrich scheduled a sentencing hearing for April 26, 2023, when Ferrier will be sentenced to 262 months in prison if the Court accepts the plea agreements.
The investigation was handled by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and San Antonio Field Office. Assistance was provided by the United States Secret Service and the United States Postal Inspection Service.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Friedman of the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia; Assistant United States Attorneys Rob Jones, David Coronado, and David Lindenmuth of the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, and Trial Attorney David Smith of the DOJ’s National Security Division Counterterrorism Section.