A woman suspected of sending a letter containing the poison ricin to President Donald Trump was arrested, on Sunday, as she tried to enter the US from Canada at a border crossing in New York state, a US law enforcement official said.
The woman was carrying a gun and arrested by US authorities, according to the law enforcement official.
A person familiar with the investigation said “the letter was mailed from St. Hubert, Quebec, and contained a granular substance with similar physical characteristics to ground castor beans.”
Two tests had been done to confirm that the substance found in the letter is ricin. Ricin is a highly toxic compound extracted from castor beans that has been used in terror plots.
If ingested, it causes nausea, vomiting and internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines, followed by failure of the liver, spleen and kidneys, and death by collapse of the circulatory system.
As little as 500 micrograms — an amount the size of the head of a pin — can kill an adult.
There is no specific test for exposure and no antidote once exposed.
Authorities are investigating additional similar packages mailed to addresses in Texas that may be connected to the same sender in Canada, according to a US law enforcement official.
“We are aware of the concerning reports of packages containing ricin directed toward US federal government sites,” Mary-Liz Power, chief spokeswoman for Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair, said on Saturday.”