French-Canadian woman who mailed deadly ricin to then-President Trump sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison

 August 19, 2023

During his tenure in office, former President Donald Trump was subjected to countless death threats and an untold number of assassination attempts, only some of which have been publicly revealed.

One such attempt occurred in September 2020, and that would-be assassin, a dual citizen of Canada and France named Pascale Ferrier, was just sentenced this week to nearly 22 years in federal prison, according to BBC News.

The French-Canadian woman previously admitted to having sent a letter to then-President Trump that contained homemade ricin, a dangerous and potentially fatal toxin derived from castor beans.

Sentenced to 262 months in prison

The Justice Department announced on Thursday that Pascale Cecile Veronique Ferrier, 56, had pleaded guilty in January to multiple counts of violating laws against the use of biological weapons, which stemmed from her sending ricin-laced threatening letters to not only then-President Trump in September 2020 but also eight law enforcement officials in Texas, who she blamed for a period of detention she served in that state in 2019.

Ferrier had been criminally charged in both Washington D.C. and Texas as a result of those letters, but for the purposes of her guilty plea and sentencing, all of the cases had been combined together in the D.C. court of District Judge Dabney Friedrich, who ordered Ferrier to serve 262 months in federal prison.

The DOJ release further indicated that Ferrier will be deported back to Canada once she has served her sentence and, if she ever returns to the U.S., will be subject to supervised release for the rest of her life.

Arrested while crossing border from Canada to U.S.

The Associated Press reported that Ferrier, a French-born immigrant who gained citizenship in Canada, admitted to having made the deadly ricin poison at her home in Quebec, where she lived as a single mother raising two children and had no prior criminal record in that country.

It was in September 2020 that she mailed the potentially fatal and threatening letters to then-President Trump and the eight Texas law enforcement officials. The letter to Trump, which urged him to drop out of the presidential race, never reached the White House as it was instead intercepted at a nearby mail-sorting facility.

Some of the letters to the Texas law enforcement officials who she blamed for a brief period of detention in that state in 2019 appeared to have never been sent but were instead discovered in her possession -- along with a gun, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and a knife -- when she was arrested while attempting to enter the U.S. from Canada at a border crossing near Buffalo, New York.

At the time of her arrest, the New York Post reported that Ferrier, who also posted numerous threats against Trump on social media, had previously been deported from the U.S. to Canada after overstaying a six-month visa.

She had been arrested in March 2019 in Texas and initially faced charges of tampering with government records, carrying an unlicensed weapon, resisting arrest, and possessing a fake driver's license, but was eventually released.

No remorse -- "only regret" is that attack on Trump "didn't work"

During her sentencing hearing on Thursday, CNN reported that Ferrier described herself as a "peaceful person" during a lengthy statement to the court in which she also claimed, "I consider myself to be an activist, not a terrorist," and explained, "Activists are constructive, terrorists are destructive."

She further expressed no remorse for what she had done and insisted, "The only regret I have is that it didn’t work and that I couldn’t stop Trump."

According to the AP, federal prosecutor Michael Friedman, who supported the "appropriately harsh punishment" handed down by the judge, told the court, "There is absolutely no place for politically motivated violence in the United States of America. There is no excuse for threatening public officials or targeting our public servants."

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